English tenses

Present progressive

The present progressive puts emphasis on the course or duration of an action. The present progressive is used for actions going on in the moment of speaking and for actions taking place only for a short period of time. ... Present progressive is also known aspresent continuous.

present progressive


The form of the present continuous tense

The verb to be (in the simple present) verb + ing

The affirmative forms of the present continuous:

am eating.
You, we, they are
He, she, it is

The interrogative forms of the present continuous

Am I eating?
Are you, we, they
Is he, she, it

The negative forms of the present continuous

I am not eating.
’m not
You, we, they are not
He, she, it is not

The use of the present continuous tense

  • The present continuous is used to talk about actions happening at the time of speaking.Example:
    • Where is Mary? She is having a bath. (Not she has a bath)
    • What are you doing at the moment in front of your screen? Don't you know? Well … you are reading this lesson. You are learning English.
  • The present continuous can also be used when an action has started but hasn’t finished yet.Example:
    • am reading a book; it’s a nice book. (It means = I am not necessarily reading it; I started reading it but I haven’t finished it yet

Special verbs

There are verbs which are normally not used in the present continuous.


be, believe, belong, hate, hear, like, love, mean, prefer, remain, realize, see, seem, smell, think, understand, want, wish

It's not correct to say:

He is wanting to buy a new car.*

You must say:

He wants to buy a new car.

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