Present Continuous

  • Actions that are happening right now: The BMX rider is jumping.
  • Actions that are happening during the present block of time or recently: I am going to the gym quite often (recently). | She is studying really hard for her exam this month.
  • Actions that are ongoing or incomplete: I am learning Portuguese. | “Hey, John! I’m reading your book… I haven’t finished yet though”
Affirmative Structure

The general structure is: SUBJECT + VERB TO BE + VERB(ING) + OBJECT

The verb “to be” is conjugated as usual and may, or not, be contracted.

We add ING to the end of the main verb.

E.g.: The whale plays > The whale is playing.

The structure of the present continuous is the same for all persons (except for the conjugation of the verb “to be”).

IMPORTANT! : Remember that ING on the end of a verb does not always indicate a continuous form. the “ING form” can also be used for adjectives and the gerund (noun) form of verbs.

E.g.: This is exciting / I like reading.


Negative Structure

To negate the present continuous, we negate the verb “to be”.

E.g.: I am eating / I’m eating > I am not eating / I’m not eating | They are sailing / They’re sailing > They are not sailing / They’re not sailing / They aren’t sailing

Question Structure

To ask questions in present continuous, we invert the subject and auxiliary verb (to be).

E.g.: You are sleeping > Are you sleeping? | She is singing > Is she singing?


Remember that “Context is King”. Click the links to see the examples in context.

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