English grammar present continuous tense – language exchange
English grammar present continuous tense – language exchange.
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What is the present continuous tense?
Like all continuous tenses, the present continuous (also called the present progressive in American English) tense, is used to express the idea of action.
It is an easy tense to construct and it has six different uses.
What is the first use of the present continuous?
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The present continuous is used to express an action happening at this moment in time.
- You are reading this text.
- I am writing this text at the moment.
Do you remember your present simple?
If you do, or if you don’t, it is probably a good idea to review your knowledge.
Click here for the Smart Language Solutions present simple grammar explanation.
What is the second use of present continuous?
The present continuous is used to express an action happening around now, but not at this moment in time.
Usually something that takes some time to complete.
- At the moment I am writing this blog, but I am also reading a great book! – I read the book each night before I go to sleep, but now I am in my office working.
- She is training to become a professional cyclist. – Every day she trains hard, but now it is the late at night and he is asleep.
When we use the present simple to express an action happening around now, our focus is on the activity not the fact.
What is the third use of present continuous?
The present continuous is used to express temporary actions.
These actions can be happening now or around now, but they are happening for a limited period of time.
- I am relaxing on holiday. – Normally I am at work, but for the next two weeks I am on holiday.
- He is taking the bus to work. – Normally he rides his bike, but it is winter and there is snow and ice on the road.
We use continuous tenses to create images in our mind of the actions in progress.
When we use present simple we focus on facts, and this can seem a little boring.
The continuous tenses give us the idea of action.
What is the fourth use of the present continuous?
The present continuous is used to talk about future plans.
- I am traveling to Moscow next week.
- We are meeting the new investors later today.
When we use the present continuous to express future plans we MUST use a future time point.
The purpose of using the continuous is to focus on the action not the fact.
Remember a plan is something that can change in the future, it not a future fact.
- People are believing more fake new on the internet.
- The winters are becoming shorter each year.
In this use we express a fact that we think is a trend or tendency in the continuous form.
Again in this use we are highlighting action of the trend or tendency.
What is the sixth use of the present continuous tense?
In this use the present continuous is combined with adverbs to express anger.
- Mary is always telling lies.
- Their dog is constantly barking.
When we are angry it is a fact, and we can express our anger as a fact, however when we express our angry using the present continuous and an adverb we giving our expression of anger more emotion.
Now you know the present continuous is used to express, an action happening now, an action happening around now, a temporary action, a future plan, trends, and to express anger.
So now it is time to find out how to correctly construct the present continuous.
The correct form of the present continuous
The present continuous is formed by using the correct personal pronoun combining it with the correct form of the verb “to be and the verb+ing.
I am reading a good book. – read+ing
You are working for the government. – work+ing
He/she/it is taking a holiday. – take+ing
We/you/they are watching a TV show. – watch+ing
Short forms of the present continuous
• I + am = I’m
• is + not = isn’t
• are + not = aren’t
• he + is = he’s
• she + is = she’s
• it + is= it’s
Construction of the present continuous sentences.
Personal Pronoun + verb to be + main verb+ing – rest of sentence.
I am learning English at the moment.
He/she/it is learning English at the moment.
We/you/they are learning English at the moment.
Verb to be + personal pronoun + verb+ing – rest of question
Are we/you/they learning English at the moment?
Is he/she/it learning English at the moment?
We can include a question word when needed.
What are we/you/they learning at the moment
What is he/she/it learning at the moment.
Personal pronoun + verb to be + not + verb+ing – rest of sentence.
I am not learning English at the moment.
He/she/it is not learning English at the moment.
We/you/they are not learning English at the moment.
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Question 1 of 9
How may uses does the present continuous have?Correct
Question 2 of 9
Which sentence is a good example of an action in progress now?Correct
Question 3 of 9
Which sentence is a good example of an action in progress around now?Correct
Question 4 of 9
Which sentence is a good example of a future plan?Correct
Question 5 of 9
Which sentence is a good example of a trend or tendency?Correct
Question 6 of 9
Which sentence is a good example of an expression of anger?Correct
Question 7 of 9
The verb to be is used in the construction of the present continuous?Correct
Question 8 of 9
In America the present continuous is called what?Correct
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Smart Language Solutions is the online language exchange website?Correct
Written by: Dave English – firstname.lastname@example.org
Created: November 2016
Text © Smart Language Solutions Ltd.
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