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

Section: 

Comments

"Mother will be cooking the dinner when we get home."
Is it incorrect to say in the sentence above, instead of "we get home", we will get home?

Hi everyone!
Which sentence is correct:
1. I enjoy my English course
2. I'm enjoying my English course
Thanks

Hi Ilariuccia,

Both sentences are possible. The first sentence is an example of the present simple and describes a general feeling about the course - the speaker likes it. The second sentence is an example of the present continuous and describes the speaker's feeling at a particular moment. It is possible (if unlikely) that the speaker in the second sentence does not like the course overall but is enjoying it at that particular moment.

I hope that clarifies it for you.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Good day, I want to ask you guys which is better:
A. What are doing when the accident occured?
B. What were you doing when the accident occured?

Can you ask someone in both ways and which is better? Thx

Hello Aoll212,

A is not correct -- it lacks a subject ('you') and the present tense ('are') is incongruent with the past tense ('occurred'). B, however, is correct. Good work!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Thx again sir, however, there's a typo there(in choice A) and I missed that, my bad. So it means it will never be 'are you' in all cases... hmm, that's very important for me.

Hi,
Is the following sentence correct?
Tina, and not her parents, is organizing the party.

Hi naghmairam,

Yes, that sentence looks fine to me.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,

is "I told you he was coming" the same as "I told you that he would come"? If they are both correct: Is one more polite or more frequently used than the other? How is this grammar form called? Where can I find more about it? Thank you in advance.

W.B.

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