Form of the present continuous
The present continuous is used when talking about an action that is happening at the moment of speaking and the action is not finished yet.
Present continuous: positive and negative
Present continuous: question
Present continuous: short answer
|Are you drinking lemonade?||
Yes, I am
No, I am not
|Is she drinking lemonade?||
Yes, she is
No, she isn't
Present continuous: Be careful!
1. All continuous verbs forms are composed of the auxiliary verb 'be' plus the gerund (-ing) of the main verb.
2. We use the continuous only for verbs which describe actions.
3. Note that for questions is not necessary to use 'do' because there is already an auxiliary verb 'be'.
Present continuous: how to spell verb+-ing
1. Most verbs add -ing to the base form of the verb.
e.g. drinking, shouting, going, loving
2. Verbs that end in one -e lose the -e.
e.g. coming, losing, realizing, supposing
3. Verbs that end in -ee don't drop an -e.
e.g. seeing, fleeing
N.B. lie becomes lying
4. Verbs of one syllable, with one vowel and one consonant, double the consonant.
e.g. getting, running, forgetting, stopping
N.B. if the final consonant is -y or -w, it is not doubled.
e.g. playing, showing
Uses of the present continuous
The present continuous has three main uses.
1. An action happening now
- Pat is speaking to Richard.
- He is playing snooker.
- They are eating breakfast.
- Sssshh! I'm thinking.
2. A temporary action
- I'm living with a friend until my house is repaired.
- My daughter is learning the piano.
3. An action happening around now
- My father is reading a good book at the moment called Nineteen Eighty-Four.
- Is Mary working this week? No she is off ill.
- I'm thinking of going to Wales for my holiday.