Present Continuous: Statements

Present Continuous (Progressive) is a present tense. We use Present Continuous to say what we are doing now:

Some more examples:

  • I am reading a book.
  • Antony is speaking.
  • I am listening.

How to form Present Continuous

To make Present Continuous, we use:

am/is/are + ‘-ing’ form of the verb (Present Participle)

I am working
You are working
He/she/it is working
We are working
You are
They are working

Note: The verb ‘be’ (am/is/are) can be contracted:

I’m cooking right now.
– He’s reading a book at the moment.
– We’re going to the cinema tonight.

Spelling rules for verbs when adding ‘-ing’:

There are some rules to remember when adding the ‘-ing’ ending to verbs.

1. For most verbs, including those ending in ‘-y’, just add ‘-ing’:

  • speak → speaking
  • cook → cooking
  • say → saying
  • play → playing

2. For verbs with silent ‘-e’ at the end, drop the final ‘-e’ and add ‘-ing’:

  • to choose → choosing
  • to glide → gliding

3. For verbs with ‘-ie’ at the end, change ‘-ie’ to ‘-ying’:

  • to tie → tying
  • to lie → lying

4. For verbs with ‘consonant + vowel + consonant’ at the end and final syllable stressed, double the last consonant (except for ‘-x’ and ‘-w’) and add ‘-ing’:

  • to for’get → forgetting
  • to ‘swim → swimming

When to use Present Continuous

The Present Continuous tense is used to describe actions happening right now or around now.

Present Continuous is used to express:

1) actions taking place at the time of speaking

  • I am reading a book at the moment.
  • Where’s Bill? He’s talking to his friend.

2) actions taking place during present period (temporary situations)

  • Some friends of mine are building their own house. They hope to finish it next summer.
  • I’m living in London.

3) planned actions in the near future

  • We are going to the cinema in 20 minutes.
  • I’m meeting my father tomorrow.

4) personal traits or habits, usually with a negative meaning

  • He is always shouting at me.
  • You’re always losing your keys!

5) changes or trends taking place in present

  • The population of the world is increasing very fast.

Let’s summarize the usages of Present Continuous:

Expressions of time

In Present Continuous, to show an ongoing action, we usually use the words like:

– now, at the moment, right/just now
– this afternoon/week/month, etc.
– today, tomorrow
– at present, these days, nowadays
– constantly, always

  • We’re learning English now.
  • She’s eating a lot of fish this week.
  • You’re starting work tomorrow.
  • She’s always coming to work late.
Note: We don’t normally use state verbs in Present Continuous:
Like   Love    Hate    Want    Know

I don’t like westerns. (NOT: I’m not liking westers.)
He knows Amsterdam well. (NOT: He’s knowing Amsterdam well.)

Here’s a good video from AMES836 explaining how to use Present Continuous correctly:

Read more:

Present Continuous: Negative & Questions

Present Continuous with Future Meaning

Present Simple or Present Continuous?