Present Continuous Tense

We use the Present Continuous Tense to talk about 3 types of actions:

  1. Something that is happening now;
  2. Something that will happen in the future;
  3. A temporary action that started in the past.

Present Continuous = Present Progressive.

This tense has two names, the Present Continuous and the Present Progressive. They both mean the same thing.

1. We can use the Present Continuous Tense to talk about something that is happening now.

/ now

I'm using the computer.

She is having a shower.

2. We can use the Present Continuous Tense to talk about something that will happen in the future.

now

I'm meeting my sister for lunch tomorrow.

We use this when we have plans for the future.

You can also use the Future Simple Tense with 'going to' to talk about future plans.

Tomorrow is an example of a relative time expression. Learn more about relative time expressions.

3. We can use the Present Continuous Tense to talk about a temporary action or situation that started in the past.

now / supermarket

I'm working in a supermarket.

You have a job at the supermarket. You are working for your university holiday. The job will stop at the end of your holiday, it is temporary.

He's building a house.

He started building the house in the past. He will finish building the house in the future.

Making the Present Continuous Tense

+ I'm using the computer. s='I' + 'be' + ving='using'

- I'm not using the computer. s='I' + 'be' + 'not' + ving='using'

? Are you using the computer? 'be' + s='you' + ving='using'

'Be' changes for different subjects.

Using the verb 'be'

For most verbs we add -ing to the end, but some have special spelling rules.

Spelling rules for -ing verbs

I'm is the short form of I am.

Pronunciation

I'm using the computer.

I'm not using the computer.

Are you using the computer?