CIP Online English Learning - Present Continuous Tense

Present Continuous Tense

Teacher Christine

The present continuous is formed using am/is/are + present participle of the main verb. Questions are indicated by inverting the subject and am/is/are. Negatives are made with not.

Affirmative / Positive
Subject + to be + base + ing
She is cooking.
Subject + to be + not + base + ing
She is not (isn’t) cooking.
to be + subject + base + ing
Is she cooking?


Spelling Rules for changing –ing verbs


Basic rule Just add -ing to the base verb:
work working
play playing
assist assisting
see seeing
be being
Exception If the base verb ends in consonant + stressed vowel + consonant, double the last letter:

vowels = a, e, i, o, u

stop stopping
run running
begin beginning
Note that this exception does not apply when the last syllable of the base verb is not stressed:
open opening
Exception If the base verb ends in ie, change the ie to y:
lie lying
die dying
Exception If the base verb ends in vowel + consonant + e, omit the e:
come coming
mistake mistaking


Present Continuous Uses

  1.   We use the present continuous for things that are happening at the moment of speaking. These things usually last for quite a short time and they are not finished when we are talking about them.

Example: I am eating.

She is taking a bath.


  1.   We can use the present continuous for temporary or new habits (for normal habits that continue for a long time, we use the present simple). We often use this with expressions like ‘these days’ or ‘at the moment’.

Example: I am taking a diet these days.


  1.   The next use is for definite future arrangements (with a future time word). In this case we have already made a plan and we are pretty sure that the event will happen in the future.

Example: I am having a class at 3 pm.