Present Continuous: Negative & Questions

The Present Continuous tense is used to talk about actions and events happening now.

Present Continuous questions
via http://www.langust.ru/unit_el/unit_004.shtml

Negative sentences in Present Continuous

To say we are not doing something at the moment in Present Continuous, we use:

am/is/are + not + the ‘-ing’ form of the verb

SingularPlural
I am not sleeping
You are not (aren’t) sleeping
He/she/it is not (isn’t) sleeping
We aren’t sleeping
You aren’t sleeping
They aren’t sleeping
Note: The verb ‘be’ (am/is/are) + not may be contracted.

I’m not watching TV.
– Jack isn’t walking.
– We’re not (We aren’t) eating.

Watch this video from Learn English Hamza Classroom to see more examples of Present Continuous negative:

Questions in Present Continuous

To ask questions in Present Continuous, we use:

am/is/are + subject + ‘-ing’ form of the verb

Yes/No questions

To create a question that will be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, use ‘am‘/’is‘/’are‘ (or ‘isn’t‘/’aren’t‘ for a negative question) + ‘-ing’ form of the verb.

SingularPlural
Am I working?
Are you working?
Is he/she/it working?
Are we working?
Are you working?
Are they working?
  • Is it raining today?
  • Are you leaving right now?
  • Is he driving?
Note: We don’t say ‘Yes, I’m’ to answer positive questions, we say ‘Yes, I am.’
We can say ‘No, I’m not’ or ‘No, I am not’ to answer negative questions:

Are you studying now?
Yes, I am (No, I’m not).

Is Ben playing golf?
Yes, he is (No, he isn’t).

Are your friends staying at a hotel?
Yes, they are (No, they aren’t).

Special questions

Special questions (also known as wh-questions) are questions that require more information in their answers. They are made using wh- words such as what, where, when, why, which, who, how, how many, how much.

To make a special question, use the same word order as with yes-no questions but put a wh-word before the verb ‘am’, ‘is’ or ‘are’. The structure is:

wh-word + am/is/are + [subject] + -ing verb

  • What are you doing?
  • When is he coming?
  • Why is she crying?

Here’s a good video from New Model for Learning English explaining how to make questions in Present Continuous:

Read more:

Present Continuous: Statements

Present Continuous with Future Meaning

Present Simple or Present Continuous?

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