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.