Both tenses have a continuous form. These continuous tenses are formed with the verb be and the –ing form of the verb:

We use continuous aspect:

  • for something happening before and after a given time.

He’s getting on the train. [before and after the moment of speaking]
It was quarter past ten. We were watching the news on television.

  • for something continuing before and after another action:

Mother will be cooking the dinner when we get home.
We were waiting for the bus when it started to rain.

  • for something continuing for some time:

Everybody will be waiting for us.
They had been working hard all day.

  • for something happening again and again:

They’ve been doing that every day this week.
The children were always shouting.
He will be practising the piano every night.

  • for something temporary:

We are renting an apartment until our house is ready..
He was working in a garage during the vacation.

  • for something new:

We have moved from Birmingham. We’re living in Manchester now.
He had left university and was working in his father’s business.

  • to describe something changing or developing:

Everything has been getting more difficult.
He was growing more bad-tempered every day. 

Exercise

Comments

good day.
You won't be making much money in this new job.
you won't make much money in this new job
why is the second one wrong? there isn't a specific time so I don't know why we have to use the future continues.

Hello andreus1999,

The second sentence is not wrong; both forms can be used here.

There is not a great change in meaning in this context but there is a difference in emphasis. The continuous form (won't be making) describes the situation that the person wil be in while doing the job. The simple form (won't make) focuses on the result of doing the job.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

hello
is this tense correct? : Dany is standing on the table.

Hell Abdel El,

The verb in your sentence is correctly formed and describes what Dany is doing right now. I assume that it is correctly used, but of course I can't say that for sure without knowing what the context is and what you want to say.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello!
Why Present Continuous is used in the examples: "I hate the way he is always criticising me"; "What time is he arriving next Friday?".
Thanks a lot!

Hi skywalker1,

The present continuous can be used to express annoyance. When we use it this way, we often also use the word 'always' -- this is the way it is used in the first sentence you ask about.

In the second sentence, the present continuous is used to speak about a future plan that has already been arranged. For more on this use, please see our Future plans and Talking about the future pages.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

hello kirk,why is there not the present perfect continuous in the first example as the present perfect continuous is used to show that something has been continuing up to the present?

Hello manuel24,

The present perfect continuous would suggest something which occurred repeatedly in the past and has a present result, whereas the present continuous describes an ongoing situation (he still criticises the speaker now; it has not ended).

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I don't understand why there is the present perfect continuos in the example above "they have been doing that every day this week",does not "this week" suggest the ongoing situation and not something which occured repeatedly in the past,does it?

thank you peter,but could i use the present perfect continuous with the verb "hate" if i would it?is it correct to say that non action verbs and perception verbs are not used in continuous verbs?

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