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.
- Determiners and quantifiers
- irregular verbs
- question forms
- verb phrases
- present tense
- past tense
- perfective aspect
- continuous aspect
- active and passive voice
- to + infinitive
- -ing forms
- talking about the present
- talking about the past
- talking about the future
- verbs in time clauses and if clauses
- wishes and hypotheses
- the verb be
- link verbs
- delexical verbs like have, take, make and give
- Modal verbs
- double object verbs
- phrasal verbs
- reflexive and ergative verbs
- verbs followed by to + infinitive
- verbs followed by -ing clauses
- verbs followed by that clause
- Clause, phrase and sentence
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