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Present Continuous (A1-A2)

Present Continuous Tense: A Comprehensive Guide

Introduction

The Present Continuous tense is used to talk about actions that are happening at the moment of speaking or around the current time, and for planned future events. Consider this example text:

“Lucas is sitting at his desk right now. He is studying for his exams, which are next week. Outside, it’s raining, and people are rushing to find shelter. Lucas’s phone is ringing, but he’s not answering it because he’s focusing on his studies.”

This text illustrates the Present Continuous tense in action, describing ongoing actions and setting the scene around Lucas.

Form

The Present Continuous tense is formed with the present tense of the verb “to be” (am/is/are) followed by the -ing form of the main verb.

Here’s a table demonstrating the form:

Subject To Be Verb(+ing)
I am studying
You are studying
He/She/It is studying
We are studying
They are studying

Meaning and Use

The Present Continuous tense is used to express:

  1. Actions happening now: “She is talking to her friend on the phone.”
  2. Actions happening around the current time but not necessarily at the moment of speaking: “I am reading a great book.”
  3. Future plans or arrangements: “We are meeting at 6 PM tomorrow.”

Signal Words

Words often used with the Present Continuous to indicate ongoing actions include: now, right now, at the moment, currently, today, this week, etc.

Example sentences:

  • “They are currently working on a new project.”
  • “I am meeting my friend later today.”
  • “She is studying a lot this week for her final exam.”

Present Continuous for Future

The Present Continuous is also used to talk about fixed plans or arrangements in the future, especially when the time and place have been decided:

  • “I am flying to Rome next Monday.”
  • “Are you attending the conference tomorrow?”