Present Continuous

The Present continuous is formed by is / are + -ing form of the verb

 I am driving~You are driving~He/she is driving~We are driving~You are driving~They are driving

Present continuous use

Before you learn about the use of the present continuous, beware that there are some verbs which cannot be used in any of the continuous tenses.  Some verbs will sound strange to you in the continuous form, and it is a good idea to learn what these verbs are: Verbs that Cannot be Used in the Continuous Tenses


The present continuous has 2 main uses:


Things happening RIGHT NOW:

'I am watching the television at the moment'

This also includes things happening AROUND NOW even if it is not at this moment, processes which have started but not finished:

'We are looking for a new director at the company' 

(not looking at this particular moment, but we are in the process of looking)

Temporary Situations:

 'I am living in Spain at the moment for my University studies' 

This also includes temporary habits -  things that you are doing but you will stop

'I am running 3 times a week because I want to lose weight' (I will stop running when I have lost the weight)

The present continuous is also used to talk about changes or processes which are in progress:

'Levels of unemployment are increasing in Britain'

'Pandas are becoming extinct'

The present continuous is also used to talk about the future

Here it is used to talk about fixed future plans, arrangements or appointments

   'I am meeting Sarah at 10 o clock' (Fixed plans / arrangements)

  'I am having my hair cut at 3pm tomorrow' (appointment)

Many speakers make the mistake of using 'will' to talk about future arrangements, but this is incorrect, for future tense check out this link below:

Find your tense - Future

The difference between the present simple and the present continuous is one of the most difficult to learn, for a simple diagram click the link below:

Find your tense - Present Simple or Present Continuous