We use the present continuous tense to show we are in the middle of an activity that is in progress at this moment. The activity started in the past and will go on in the future.
* You are watching TV.
* Are you watching TV?
* You are not watching TV.
The structure of the present continuous tense is:
| auxiliary verb
| main verb
| base + ing
Look at these examples:
| auxiliary verb
| main verb
| to you.
| in London.
| for John?
* I am speaking. * You are speaking. * We are speaking. * They are speaking. * He is speaking. * She is speaking. * It is speaking.
| * I am not speaking. * You are not speaking. * We are not speaking. * They are not speaking. * He is not speaking. * She is not speaking. * It is not speaking.
| * Am I speaking? * Are you speaking? * Are we speaking? * Are they speaking? * Is he speaking? * Is she speaking? * Is it speaking?
We use the Present Continuous with Normal Verbs to express the idea that something is happening now, at this very moment. It can also be used to show that something is not happening now. Examples:
* You are learning English now.
* You are not swimming now.
* Are you sleeping?
* I am sitting.
* I am not standing.
* Is he sitting or standing?
* They are reading their books.
* They are not watching television.
* What are you doing?
* Why aren't you doing your homework?
2. Longer Actions in Progress Now
In English, "now" can mean: this second, today, this month, this year, this century, and so on. Sometimes, we use the Present Continuous to say that we are in the process of doing a longer action which is in progress; however, we might not be doing it at this exact second. Examples: (All of these sentences can be said while eating dinner in a restaurant.) * I am studying to become a doctor.
* I am not studying to become a dentist.
* I am reading the book Tom Sawyer.
* I am not reading any books right now.
* Are you working on any special projects at work?
* Aren't you teaching at the university now?
3. Near Future
Sometimes, speakers use the Present Continuous to indicate that something will or will not happen in the near future. Examples:
* I am meeting some friends after work.
* I am not going to the party tonight.
* Is he visiting his parents next weekend?
* Isn't he coming with us tonight?
4. Repetition and Irritation with "Always"
The Present Continuous with words such as "always" or "constantly" expresses the idea that something irritating or shocking often happens. Notice that the meaning is like Simple Present, but with negative emotion. Remember to put the words "always" or "constantly" between "be" and "verb+ing." Examples:
* She is always coming to class late.
* He is constantly talking. I wish he would shut up.
* I don't like them because they are always complaining.
5.REMEMBER Non-action Verbs/ Mixed Verbs
It is important to remember that Non-action Verbs cannot be used in any continuous tenses. Also, certain non-action meanings for Mixed Verbs cannot be used in continuous tenses. Instead of using Present Continuous with these verbs, you must use Simple Present. Examples:
* She is loving this chocolate ice cream. Not Correct
* She loves this chocolate ice cream. Correct
Non-action verbs include the followings:
agree appear assume be believe belong consider consist contain cost depend deserve dislike doubt envy exist fear feel find fit forget hate have hear hold hope imagine include know like look love...
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