The present continuous is usually used to talk about actions that have started in the past and have not yet finished. On top of this, it’s also used to describe actions that will start in the near future, long term actions and finally repeated actions that cause irritation, and to show something that is new and contrasting. For for information about the uses of the present continuous, click here.
Here you will find information about how to form sentences using the present continuous. I have made another post about how to form present continuous questions in order to keep this post relatively short and concise. [sc:AdsenseLRec ]
To start with, I’ll explain how to form present continuous sentences and statements.
Following this, we’ll take a look at using prepositions and adverbs.
If you have any questions, leave a comment at the bottom of the page and I’ll try to answer them as quickly as I can.
Forming Present Continuous Sentences
There are three main parts when forming present continuous sentences: subject, auxiliary verb (be) and verb plus ‘ing’. For more information about spelling continuous verbs click here.
The auxiliary verb (be) changes to am/is/are depending on whether the subject is plural, singular or 3rd person. Here is the form of present continuous sentences and statements.
|Subject + Verb (be) + Verb(ing) + Objects||Subject + Verb (be) + Not + Verb(ing) + Objects|
|I am eating lunch.||I am not eating lunch.|
|He is eating lunch.||He is not eating lunch.|
|She is eating lunch.||She is not eating lunch.|
|It is eating lunch.||It is not eating lunch.|
|You are eating lunch.||You are not eating lunch.|
|We are eating lunch.||We are not eating lunch.|
|They are eating lunch.||They are not eating lunch.|
If, for example, the subject isn’t a pronoun as described above, but it is a noun like ‘John’ for example. Then ‘John’ can be changed to ‘he’ and therefore you would use ‘is’. Similarly, if you wrote ‘My friends’ then ‘My friends’ can be changed to ‘they’ and therefore you would use ‘are’.
Present Continuous with Prepositions
When we want to use the present simple to express something that has been arranged for sometime in the future it is necessary to use it with words or phrases that express the time. For example, words or phrases (prepositions of time), such as next week, next year, next term, or next semester. Here you can either put the proposition of time before or after the sentence.
John is eating dinner with Jane tonight.
Tonight, John is eating dinner with Jane.
The meaning of both sentences is exactly the same. However, if you put the preposition of time before the sentence, you must use a comma whereas if you put it at the end of the sentence there is no need to use a comma.
Present Continuous with Adverbs
I am just doing my homework.
I am always doing my homework.
I am still doing my homework.
I am only doing my homework.
The present continuous tense can’t be used with non-continuous (also known as stative) verbs. These verbs are usually an action that you can’t see somebody doing, like the words: ‘love’, ‘like’, etc.
So you can’t say:
He is liking football.
Instead you must use the present simple:
He likes football.
For a list of non-continuous (stative) verbs, click here.
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