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


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.:




Hello Zaarlev!
Yes, that's right, and that's what I thought you were asking about! Glad you've got it clear - we don't usually think about something forever!
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

Is it correct to say: "He is talking in the middle of the show" ?
thank you 

in my opinion...
it should start with ''Does he...

can someone tell me is this sentence ,,What kind of car is the ethical motorist driving these days?" something that is developing or contrast to a previous state, and why?...... please....

When we say 'these days', we are contrasting now with the past.
For example, 'These days, my grandfather spends most of his time in his garden.' This implies that in the past he didn't spend his time there.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

hey there !!!
i need  a  help 
i could not understand  this (  for some thing that is happening  before  and  after a give time )  please   make  it clear   to me   

it is not easy and the exercise was really complicated 

Hi there 

We sometimes use the present continuous like this. I go to my friends house regularly. Now my friend has a very noisy dog. It's always barking at something. When I arrive at my friends house, his pet dog is barking. 

Before I get to his house, the dog starts barking. When I arrive, (a given time) the dog is barking. Only later, after I have arrived, the dog stops barking. 



The LearnEnglish Team

are you still barking?

please   am waiting  for  the answer