The Present Continuous Tense
1. What is the present continuous tense?
The present continuous is used for things happening (and continuing to happen) now.
*Note: The present continuous is also sometimes used for future plans, as it is easier than the future tense.
2. How to make the present continuous tense
The present continuous tense is made by:
subject + be + …ing verb
‘Be’ changes to match the subject.
|subject||be||verb + ing||present continuous|
|I||am||eating||I am eating|
|You||are||going||You are going|
|He||is||sleeping||He is sleeping|
|She||is||drinking||She is drinking|
|It||is||watching||It is watching|
|We||are||driving||We are driving|
|They||are||wearing||They are wearing|
3. Examples of the present continuous tense
|I am going to school.||It is raining.|
|You are eating breakfast.||We are taking the train.|
|Alan is running in the playground. (Alan = he)||George and Russell are playing basketball. (George and Russell = they)|
|Shakira is fighting with her parents. (Shakira = she)||The plants by the window are dying.|
4. Comparing the present tense and the present continuous tense
The present tense is for things that are true, schedules, or opinions.
The present continuous tense is for things happening now, or as a quick way to say future plans.
|Present tense||Present continuous tense|
|I am Mike. (true)||Mike is talking to Rob. (happening now)|
|The sky is blue. (true)||It is snowing. (happening now)|
|She is on the train. (true)||She is taking the train to Washington. (happening now or future plan)|
|We have class tomorrow. (schedule)||We are going to class tomorrow. (future plan)|
|They sell rubbish. (true / opinion)||They are selling fake shoes. (happening now).|