The present continuous tense is formed from the present tense of the verb be and the present participle (-ing form) of a verb:

Use

1. We use the present continuous tense to talk about the present:

  • for something that is happening at the moment of speaking:

I’m just leaving work. I’ll be home in an hour.
Please be quiet. The children are sleeping.

  • for something which is happening before and after a given time:

At eight o’clock we are usually having breakfast.
When I get home the children are doing their homework.

 

  • for something which we think is temporary:

Michael is at university. He’s studying history.
I’m working in London for the next two weeks.

  • for something which is new and contrasts with a previous state:

These days most people are using email instead of writing letters.
What sort of clothes are teenagers wearing nowadays? What sort of music are they listening to?

  • to show that something is changing, growing or developing:

The children are growing quickly.
The climate is changing rapidly.
Your English is improving.

  • for something which happens again and again:

It’s always raining in London.
They are always arguing.
George is great. He’s always laughing.

Note: We normally use always with this use.

2. We use the present continuous tense to talk about the future:

  • for something which has been arranged or planned:

Mary is going to a new school next term.
What are you doing next week?

3. We can use the present continuous to talk about the past:

  • When we are telling a story
  • When we are summarising the story from a book, film or play etc.:

Exercise

Section: 

Comments

Hello, dear Kirk/Peter
1- this sentence conveys a prediction/fact about the lack of adaptation ability:
"I may never get used to this situation." [Present simple sentence]

I guess I can't use it as a continuous form, due to "never". Am I right?

2- As you mentioned before "I am getting used to this kind of weather.", is a valid and grammatically correct sentence. Does it make sense we use: "I'm not getting used to this situation." instead of my first sentence as a complaint?

Thank u.

Hello _Bobby_,

For 1, 'may' doesn't have a continuous form. It's possible to use a continuous infinitive after it (e.g. 'may be getting used to'), but you're right: in this case it'd be pretty unusual to use it. 2 is a much more likely way of expressing the kind of complaint that you seem to want to communicate. 'I'm not getting used to' is correct and is natural and I think says what you want it to.

Good work!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

if I ask u can u help me
1. Choose one of the theories and try to find an example of analysis
How can i find theories ?? i will be glad if u help me

Hello AN Hayrapetyan,

I'm afraid I don't understand your question. We're happy to try to help with questions relating to the material on our pages, but this does not seem to have anything to do with that.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

by comparing present simple and present continuous, is it correct that we can use either simple or continuous form for something which happens again and again?

Hello Salie108,

Yes, that is correct. There is a difference in meaning, however. The present simple is used when something is habitual or part of our normal routines. The present continuous is used when an action is in some way representative of a person - repeated behaviour which tells us about the kind of person they are. In this use, as the information above says, we tend to use 'always' (or 'forever' or 'constantly'). Most often we use this to describe annoying behaviour:

She's always leaving her homework to the last minute!

He's forever complaining about the neighbours, but he never does anything about them.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Teacher,
How do I build a present continues negative interrogative statement to the following sentence?

" I am eating rice. "

Hello Dilshu Wijesinghe,

I'm afraid we don't provide answers for questions from homework or tests elsewhere. We're happy to answer questions about how the language works or to explain things on our pages which you don't understand, of course.

You can learn about forming negatives on this page.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir,
Thank you very much for your help. I just only provide a example for a question I have on my mind. It's always a struggle to me to build a negative interrogative statement for a present continuous senetence use "I" as the subject. Can I transform the above example ( I am eating rice ) to negative interrogative like this.
" Am not I eating rice? " Is this sentence correct?

Hello Dilshy Wijesinghe,

Yes, that is a correct sentence. It's not a very likely utterance, however. We might say this in a rhetorical manner, but not in any other context, I think.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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