The present continuous, also called present progressive, is an English tense that is often used to talk about activities that take place in the present and are still happening for quite a short time.


1.First, we use the present continuous when talking about things that are happening at the moment of speaking:

  • I’m reading at the moment. 
  • She is buying this red dress. 
  • My dog is sleeping

2.The present continuous can be used as well in temporary situations:

  • I’m watching a really great movie. 
  • He is bathing the dirty cat. 

3.We can use it for new habits:

  • My cat is eating a lot these days. 
  • They are swimming every morning. 
  • You’re smoking too much. 

4.We can use the present progressive when talking about future plans or arrangements:

  • Anna is going to a new city next week. 
  • What are you doing tomorrow? 

5.For something that is changing, growing, or developing:

  • The children are growing up quickly 
  • Your English level is improving
  • The weather is changing rapidly 

6.Before the adverb “always”:

  • They are always fighting at night. 
  • John is rude, he is always yelling at clients. 
  • She is always laughing at my jokes. 


This is how the present continuous is formed in the positive with contractions:

PositivePositive Short Form
I am sleepingI’m sleeping
You are sleepingYou’re sleeping
He is sleepingHe’s sleeping
She is sleepingShe’s sleeping
It is sleepingIt’s sleeping
We are sleepingWe’re sleeping
They are sleepingThey’re sleeping

We make a negative form by adding the word ’not’:

NegativeNegative Short Form
I am not sleepingI’m not sleeping
You are not playingYou’re not playing
He is not readingHe’s not reading
She is not workingShe’s not working
It is not rainingIt’s not raining
We are not cookingWe’re not cooking
They are not listeningThey’re not listening

Finally, this is how to form both, wh-questions and yes / no questions:

Yes / No QuestionsWh Questions
Am I eating fruits?Why am I eating fruits?
Are you studying now?What are you studying now?
Is he working?When is he working?
Is she doing her homework?What is she doing?
Is it snowing?Why is it snowing?
Are we meeting at seven?Who are we meeting?
Are they traveling?How are they traveling?
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