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GrammarA Beginner's Guide to the Present Continuous Tense

A Beginner’s Guide to the Present Continuous Tense

A Beginner’s Guide to the Present Continuous Tense

A Beginner’s Guide to the Present Continuous Tense is a comprehensive resource for English language learners looking to master this important aspect of the English language. This guide provides clear and concise information on the form, use, time expressions, negative form, and spelling rules of the present continuous tense, making it an essential tool for those just starting to learn English. With this guide, beginners will have everything they need to start using the present continuous tense with confidence, whether in speaking or writing. Whether you’re just starting out with English or looking to improve your language skills, this guide is an excellent starting point for anyone looking to gain a better understanding of the present continuous tense.

I am + verb (ing)
He / She / it is + verb (ing)
We / You / They are + verb (ing)


  1. I am eating breakfast.
  2. She is studying for her exam.
  3. They are playing soccer.
  • The Uses

The present continuous is used to:

1. Express an action that is taking place at the time of speaking :

Mary is talking on the phone. (Action happening now)

They are doing their exercises. (Action happening now)

2. Express actions that are happening around now, but not exactly at the moment of speaking.

She’s reading an interesting book these days.

3. To describe plans for the near future.

I am meeting my friends later. (Plan for the near future)


  1. Some verbs are not normally used in the present continuous tense, such as stative verbs (such as have, own, belong, etc.), and some others (such as know, believe, understand, etc.).
  2. For negative sentences in the present continuous tense, add “not” after the auxiliary verb.


  1. She is not studying for her exam.
  2. They are not playing soccer.
  • I am walking
  • You are walking
  • He is walking
  • She is walking
  • It is walking
  • We are walking
  • You are walking
  • They are walking

  • I am not walking
  • You are not walking
  • he is not walking
  • she is not walking
  • it is not walking
  • we are not walking
  • you are not walking
  • they are not walking
  • Am I walking?
  • Are you walking?
  • Is he walking?
  • is she walking?
  • is it walking?
  • Are we walking?
  • Are you walking?
  • are they walking?

Time expressions used with the present continuous

Just like all tenses in English, the present continuous is generally used with specific time expressions. Here are some:

  1. Now, still, at present, these days, At the moment, right now,
  2. this week/month/term/this year………….
  3. Exclamation (!) sentences. (Look/listen/ + verb -ing (to describe a temporary situation)
  4. Currently
  5. These days
  6. Lately
  7. Today


  1. She’s working at the moment.
  2. I’m working on a new project this month.
  3. Look, he’s running!
  4. He’s watching TV currently.
  5. She’s been feeling better lately.
  6. She’s been feeling better lately.
  7. They’re having a party today.

Spelling Rules

  • With most verbs, we add –ing to the verb.

talk – talking
go – going

  • With verbs ending in consonant + e, we delete the –e and add –ing.

take – taking
come – coming

  • With one-syllable verbs ending in one vowel + one consonant, we double the final consonant and add –ing.

run – running
stop – stopping

But: we don’t double letter “x”

mix – mixing

  • With verbs with two or more syllables ending in one vowel + one consonant, we double the final consonant if the last syllable is stressed, and add –ing.

begin – beginning


visit – visiting

  • With verbs ending in one vowel + l, we double the –l and add –ing.

travel – traveling


sail – sailing

  • With verbs ending in –ie, we change the –ie to –ying.

lie – lying
die – dying

In conclusion, the present continuous tense is used to describe actions happening now or at the present moment. Remember to use the present tense of the verb “to be” and the present participle (-ing form) of the main verb to form the present continuous tense. Also, use time expressions such as “now,” “right now,” and “currently” to describe the present moment.


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