Present Continuous

Present Continuous – Grammar

This is the second episode of a special series of podcasts about grammar in context. In the last podcast we looked at the present simple and now it’s time for the present continuous.  This might be very easy for you but it’s important to make sure you’re not making basic mistakes with the easier grammar before you try to use the more difficult grammar and vocabulary.

 

Form: Subject + Be + Main Verb -ing

“Be” is here the Auxiliary Verb, and has to be conjugated, as in all other continuous (or progressive) tenses

Contractions: Auxiliary Verb to be (I’m, you’re, he’s, she’s, it’s, we’re, they’re)

Negative form: Subject + Be + Not + Main Verb -ing

Contractions: Auxiliary Verb to be negative (you aren’t, he isn’t, she isn’t, it isn’t, we aren’t, they aren’t)

Questions: Be + Subject + Main Verb -ing

 

Uses and examples:

We use present continuous to talk about something that’s happening in the moment of speaking

  • What are you doing right now? I’m sitting on a chair, I’m writing notes, I’m breathing, I’m speaking, I’m wearing clothes, I’m holding a pencil, etc

 

We use present continuous to talk about something temporary, not permanent

  • Where are you living at the moment? I’m living in El Campillín, in Oviedo.
  • Is your brother going out with anyone at the moment? Yes, he’s going out with someone .
  • Are you getting out of the city a lot at the moment? Yes, I’m always running away to the countryside .

 

We also use present continuous to talk about something contrasting with the past. There has to be a contrast between the past and the present state.

  • I’m getting into… the TV series Black Mirror.
  • I’m getting into… watching a cooking program on Netflix.
  • I was… fatter but now I’m… getting thinner .

 

Present continuous is also used when we want to talk about future plans or arrangements

We use present continuous to talk about something that happens again and again, often in a negative way

  • Dave is always drinking tea.

 

Game:

Say what are always doing the following people

  1. Donald Trump: Donald Trump is always giving ridiculous speeches. Donald Trump is always looking stupid. He’s always lying.
  2. Justin Bieber: He’s always acting feminine. He’s always singing and posing. He’s always behaving like a spoilt child.
  3. Mr. Bean: He’s always making people laugh. He’s always getting into trouble and making mistakes.
  4. Tony Blair: He’s always hanging around politicians. He’s always causing debates. He’s always sticking his nose in.
  5. Americans: They’re always doing things at least seven hours before us. They’re always doing things on a grand scale. They’re always shooting something.
  6. Dogs: They’re always running around. They’re always barking.
  7. You: I’m always dreaming about dancing. I’m always walking everywhere. I’m always checking my phone.

 

Try to answer these questions using the present continuous:

What’s your brother/sister/partner always doing?

Are you getting into anything at the moment?

Are you keeping fit at moment?

What are you doing right now?

 

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