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Grammar - Present Continuous

Present Continuous

The Present Continuous is formed by the verb to be (am, is, are) and adding -ing in the verb:

I am studying English.

She is playing basketball.

They are working together.

Use the Present Continuous to talk about the present and things that are happening at the moment of speaking:

I’m going to the supermarket now. Do you need anything?

Don’t speak too loud. My dad is working at the office.

You can also use the Present Continuous to talk about things that are temporary:

She is doing a course in Japan next week.

I’m studying Chemistry this semester.

Use the Present Continuous to talk about something planned in the future:

We are taking a cooking class next week.

Present Continuous + Always:

When something happens over and over again, you can use the Present Continuous:

They are always fighting.

She is always playing with her pencils.


Subject + Verb To Be + Main Verb + Ing + Complement

I’m taking a course in Computer Science.

He is working at Yahoo.

We’re studying for our test.


Subject + Verb To Be + Not + Main Verb + Ing + Complement

They aren’t interested in buying new computers.

She isn’t playing on-line games.

I’m not working at night.


Verb To Be + Subject + Main Verb + Ing + Complement

Are they learning Japanese?

Is the computer working properly?


In most verbs, add ing:

Play – Playing

Listen – Listening

Start – Starting

Verbs ending with a silent E

Drop the E and add ING:

Dance – Dancing

Smile – Smiling

Take – Taking

Verbs ending with a single vowel plus a consonant.

When the stress is at the end of the word and this word ends with a single vowel plus a consonant, double the final consonant and add ING. And when the verb has only one syllable and ends in vowel + consonant, you also have to double the final consonant before adding ING.

Refer – Referring

Cut – Cutting

Swim – Swimming

Stop – Stopping

Verbs that end in C

When the verb ends in C, add K before adding ING:

Traffic – Trafficking

Pay attention!

British English: Verbs ending with a vowel + L.

In British English, when a verb ends with a vowel + L, you need to double the L before adding ING:

Travel – Travelling

Also learn from Captain English about Present Perfect