Today we are going to talk about the Present Continuous, what it is used for and how it is formed.
The Present Continuous Formula: to be (am, is, are) + verb (present participle).
- The waiter is standing behind the counter right now.
- Are you listening to me?
- I´m studying for the exam.
The present continuous tense is most often used for the following:
- For actions happening now
- For future arrangements
For actions happening now
When we want to talk about an action that is happening now or at this time (and is unfinished), we use the present continuous tense. We also use this tense when we want to make clear that the action is temporary.
- Sorry, she can’t come to the phone right now; she is having a bath.
- A: Where’s John? B: He‘s playing soccer in the sports hall.
- A: What are you doing? B: I´m watching a funny film on tv.
- A: Where´s Jane? B: She´s playing volleyball with her friends.
For future arrangements
We usually use the present continuous tense for future events that have already been arranged:
- Our grandmother is visiting us at Christmas.
- My mother‘s going to the dentist tomorrow.
- Are you doing anything on Sunday morning?
- I´m having an exam on Tuesday.
The Present Continuous is one of the first issues we teach in Cambridge exam preparation courses. You can find more information about our courses here.