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Present Continuous Tense

In these lessons, we will learn
  • how to form the Present Continuous Tense (Present Progressive Tense)
  • when to use the Present Continuous Tense
  • negatives in the Present Continuous Tense
  • the differences between the Present Tense and Present Continuous Tense

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How to form the present continuous tense?

Verbs have different forms, called tenses. The tense of a verb tells us when the action happens. We use the present continuous tense to describe actions that are happening now, around now and personal future plans. The present continuous tense is also called the present progressive tense.

We can form the present continuous tense in the following way:

am/is/are + verb + ing = present continuous tense

verb + ing = present participle


I am learning how to swim.

She is reading a book.

The crow is building a nest.

When to use present continuous tense?

We can use the present continuous tense in the following situations:

Situation 1: Actions that are happening now


Marcus is making a puppet.

We are singing too loudly.

They are fishing in the stream.

Situation 2: Actions that are happening around now or are temporary.


She is staying in New York.

We are working hard these days.

Situation 3: Future Plans


We are going camping tomorrow.

I am starting piano lessons soon.

We are having a barbeque this evening.

Negatives in the Present Continuous Tense

We can form the negative of the Present Continuous Tense by adding not after am/are/is.




I am singing.

I am not singing.

I’m not singing.

He is reading.

He is not reading.

He isn’t reading.

She is dancing.

She is not dancing.

She isn’t dancing.

You are playing.

You are not playing.

You aren’t playing.

They are sleeping.

They are not sleeping.

They aren’t sleeping.

It is raining.

It is not raining.

It isn’t raining.

This video shows how to make basic sentences in present continuous tense.
Forms and uses of the present progressive tense or present continuous tense.
This video introduces the present continuous or present progressive verb tense.

This video explains the 'Present Continuous' tense.
The present continuous tense describes actions that are happening now and in the future.


Differences between Present Tense and Present Continuous Tense

The following videos show the differences between the Present Tense and the Present Continuous Tense.
Present Simple vs Present Continuous.
This video shows some of the differences between the present tense and the present continuous tense in English.
Learn about the difference between the Present Simple and the Present Continuous (Progressive) in English.

You can use the Mathway widget below to practice Algebra or other math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own problem. Then click "Answer" to check your answer.

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