Present continuous (I am doing)

Have a look at the following example:

Sarah is in her car. She is on her way to work. She is driving to work.

This means, she is driving now, at the time of speaking. The action is not finished.

Am/is/are + -ing is the present continuous.

I am (= I’m) driving
he/she/it is (= he’s, etc.) working
we/you/they are (= we’re, etc.) doing, etc.

I am doing something = I’m in the middle of doing it; I’ve started doing it and I haven’t finished.

  • Please don’t make so much noise. I’m trying to work. (not I try to work)
  • “Where’s Mark?” “He’s having a shower. (not He has a shower)
  • Let’s go out now. It isn’t raining anymore. (not It doesn’t rain)
  • (at a party) Hi, Jane. Are you enjoying the party? (not Do you enjoy)
  • What’s all that noise? What’s going on? (=What’s happening?)

Sometimes the action isn’t happening at the time of speaking. For example:

Steve is talking to a friend on the phone. He says:

Steve is not reading the book at the time of speaking. He means that he has started it, but has not finished it yet. He is in the middle of reading it.

Some more examples:

  • Karen wants to work in Italy, so she’s learning Italian. (but perhaps she isn’t learning Italian at the time of speaking)
  • Some friends of mine are building their own house. They hope to finish it next summer.

You can use the present continuous with today / this week / this year etc. (periods around now)

  • You’re working hard today.
  • The company I work for isn’t doing well this year.

We use the present continuous when we talk about changes happening around now, especially with these verbs:

get    change    become    increase    rise    fall    grow    improve    begin    start

  • Is your English getting better? (not Does your English get better)
  • The population of the world is increasing very fast. (not increases)
  • At first, I didn’t like my job, but I’m beginning to enjoy it now. (not I begin)

Practise the present continuous

Complete the conversations.

1. A: I saw Brian a few days ago

B: Oh, did you? What’s he doing these days? (what / he / do)

A: He’s at university.

B: _____________________? (what / he / study)

A: Psychology.

B: _____________________ it? (he / enjoy)

A: Yes, he says it’s a very good course.

2. A: Hi, Nicola. How _____________________? (your new job / go)

B: Not bad. It wasn’t so good at first, but _____________________ better now. (it / get)

A: What about Daniel? Is he OK?

B: Yes, but _____________________ his work right now. (he / not / enjoy) He’s been in the same job for a long time and _____________________ to get bored with it. (he / begin)

Answers

1. A: I saw Brian a few days ago

B: Oh, did you? What’s he doing these days? (what / he / do)

A: He’s at university.

B: What’s he studying? (what / he / study)

A: Psychology.

B: Is he enjoying it? (he / enjoy)

A: Yes, he says it’s a very good course.

2. A: Hi, Nicola. How is your new job going? (your new job / go)

B: Not bad. It wasn’t so good at first, but it’s getting better now. (it / get)

A: What about Daniel? Is he OK?

B: Yes, but he is not enjoying his work right now. (he / not / enjoy) He’s been in the same job for a long time and he’s beginning to get bored with it. (he / begin)

Put the verb in the correct form, positive (I’m doing etc.) or negative (I’m not doing etc.).

  1. Please don’t make so much noise. I’m trying (I / try) to work.
  2. Let’s go out now. It isn’t raining (it / rain) any more.
  3. You can turn off the radio. _____________________ (I / listen) to it.
  4. Kate phoned me last night. She’s on holiday in France. _____________________ (she / have) a great time and doesn’t want to come back.
  5. I want to lose weight, so this week _____________________ (I / eat) lunch.
  6. Andrew has just started evening classes. _____________________ (he / learn) Japanese.
  7. Paul and Sally have had an argument. _____________________ (they / speak) to each other.
  8. _____________________ (I / get) tried. I need a rest.
  9. Tim _____________________ (work) today. He’s taken the day off.
  10. _____________________ (I / look) for Sophie. Do you know where she is?

Answers

  1. Please don’t make so much noise. I‘m trying (I / try) to work.
  2. Let’s go out now. It isn’t raining (it / rain) any more.
  3. You can turn off the radio. I’m not listening (I / listen) to it.
  4. Kate phoned me last night. She’s on holiday in France. She’s having (she / have) a great time and doesn’t want to come back.
  5. I want to lose weight, so this week I’m not eating (I / eat) lunch.
  6. Andrew has just started evening classes. He’s learning (he / learn) Japanese.
  7. Paul and Sally have had an argument. They’re not speaking (they / speak) to each other.
  8. I’m getting (I / get) tried. I need a rest.
  9. Tim isn’t working (work) today. He’s taken the day off.
  10. I’m looking (I / look) for Sophie. Do you know where she is?

Source: Murphy, R. English Grammar in Use. 4th Ed.

 

 

 

Verb Tenses

Download a chart with all 12 verb tenses and examples.

Download the A4 version

Download the US letter version

 

Present continuous (I am doing)

Have a look at the following example:

Sarah is in her car. She is on her way to work. She is driving to work.

This means, she is driving now, at the time of speaking. The action is not finished.

Am/is/are + -ing is the present continuous.

I am (= I’m) driving
he/she/it is (= he’s, etc.) working
we/you/they are (= we’re, etc.) doing, etc.

I am doing something = I’m in the middle of doing it; I’ve started doing it and I haven’t finished.

  • Please don’t make so much noise. I’m trying to work. (not I try to work)
  • “Where’s Mark?” “He’s having a shower. (not He has a shower)
  • Let’s go out now. It isn’t raining anymore. (not It doesn’t rain)
  • (at a party) Hi, Jane. Are you enjoying the party? (not Do you enjoy)
  • What’s all that noise? What’s going on? (=What’s happening?)

Sometimes the action isn’t happening at the time of speaking. For example:

Steve is talking to a friend on the phone. He says:

Steve is not reading the book at the time of speaking. He means that he has started it, but has not finished it yet. He is in the middle of reading it.

Some more examples:

  • Karen wants to work in Italy, so she’s learning Italian. (but perhaps she isn’t learning Italian at the time of speaking)
  • Some friends of mine are building their own house. They hope to finish it next summer.

You can use the present continuous with today / this week / this year etc. (periods around now)

  • You’re working hard today.
  • The company I work for isn’t doing well this year.

We use the present continuous when we talk about changes happening around now, especially with these verbs:

get    change    become    increase    rise    fall    grow    improve    begin    start

  • Is your English getting better? (not Does your English get better)
  • The population of the world is increasing very fast. (not increases)
  • At first, I didn’t like my job, but I’m beginning to enjoy it now. (not I begin)

Practise the present continuous

Complete the conversations.

1. A: I saw Brian a few days ago

B: Oh, did you? What’s he doing these days? (what / he / do)

A: He’s at university.

B: _____________________? (what / he / study)

A: Psychology.

B: _____________________ it? (he / enjoy)

A: Yes, he says it’s a very good course.

2. A: Hi, Nicola. How _____________________? (your new job / go)

B: Not bad. It wasn’t so good at first, but _____________________ better now. (it / get)

A: What about Daniel? Is he OK?

B: Yes, but _____________________ his work right now. (he / not / enjoy) He’s been in the same job for a long time and _____________________ to get bored with it. (he / begin)

Answers

1. A: I saw Brian a few days ago

B: Oh, did you? What’s he doing these days? (what / he / do)

A: He’s at university.

B: What’s he studying? (what / he / study)

A: Psychology.

B: Is he enjoying it? (he / enjoy)

A: Yes, he says it’s a very good course.

2. A: Hi, Nicola. How is your new job going? (your new job / go)

B: Not bad. It wasn’t so good at first, but it’s getting better now. (it / get)

A: What about Daniel? Is he OK?

B: Yes, but he is not enjoying his work right now. (he / not / enjoy) He’s been in the same job for a long time and he’s beginning to get bored with it. (he / begin)

Put the verb in the correct form, positive (I’m doing etc.) or negative (I’m not doing etc.).

  1. Please don’t make so much noise. I’m trying (I / try) to work.
  2. Let’s go out now. It isn’t raining (it / rain) any more.
  3. You can turn off the radio. _____________________ (I / listen) to it.
  4. Kate phoned me last night. She’s on holiday in France. _____________________ (she / have) a great time and doesn’t want to come back.
  5. I want to lose weight, so this week _____________________ (I / eat) lunch.
  6. Andrew has just started evening classes. _____________________ (he / learn) Japanese.
  7. Paul and Sally have had an argument. _____________________ (they / speak) to each other.
  8. _____________________ (I / get) tried. I need a rest.
  9. Tim _____________________ (work) today. He’s taken the day off.
  10. _____________________ (I / look) for Sophie. Do you know where she is?

Answers

  1. Please don’t make so much noise. I‘m trying (I / try) to work.
  2. Let’s go out now. It isn’t raining (it / rain) any more.
  3. You can turn off the radio. I’m not listening (I / listen) to it.
  4. Kate phoned me last night. She’s on holiday in France. She’s having (she / have) a great time and doesn’t want to come back.
  5. I want to lose weight, so this week I’m not eating (I / eat) lunch.
  6. Andrew has just started evening classes. He’s learning (he / learn) Japanese.
  7. Paul and Sally have had an argument. They’re not speaking (they / speak) to each other.
  8. I’m getting (I / get) tried. I need a rest.
  9. Tim isn’t working (work) today. He’s taken the day off.
  10. I’m looking (I / look) for Sophie. Do you know where she is?

Source: Murphy, R. English Grammar in Use. 4th Ed.

Download a chart with all 12 verb tenses and examples.

Download the A4 version

Download the US letter version

Present continuous (I am doing)

Have a look at the following example:

Sarah is in her car. She is on her way to work. She is driving to work.

This means, she is driving now, at the time of speaking. The action is not finished.

Am/is/are + -ing is the present continuous.

I am (= I’m) driving
he/she/it is (= he’s, etc.) working
we/you/they are (= we’re, etc.) doing, etc.

Read more

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