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

Hi,
This is similar to the first example in the text - it's happening before and after the moment of speaking.
Best wishes,
Adam
The LearnEnglish Team

 
It's a good summary about continuous aspect of English tenses. However, after I have finished all tense lessons of the website, I still have some problems. How can I use the correct tense for a certain situation? How about the future tenses? What's the different meanings if we use different tenses for a sentence? English tenses always confuse me, you have supplied many usage tips, but I think it not enough. Can you give me more about English tense and  more comprehensive lessons?
Thanks!
 
 

 Very interesting information to improve our English skills.
Thanks for being so useful.
Firefly.

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