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Grammar

The use & example of Present Continuous Tense

Level: A1, A2
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THE AFFIRMATIVE FORMS
SPELLING RULES
USAGE

THE AFFIRMATIVE FORMS

The verb in Present Continuous consists of two elements: appropriate auxiliary verb “to be” (I am, you are, etc.) and the main verb with the addition of the -ing ending.

TO BE + VERB + ING

My boyfriend is watching a football match at the moment.
Stop making such noise! I‘m trying to rest!


SPELLING RULES

By adding -ing to some verbs, you need to make some changes in their spelling:

change example
in monosyllabic verbs containing a short (usually single in spelling) vowel, and at the same time, ending with a single consonant – this consonant is doubled get – getting
let – letting
work – working
(two consonants at the end of the verb)
in longer verbs, if the last syllable is stressed and ends with a single consonant, we also double the last consonant admit -admitting
begin – beginning
enter – entering
(stress is put on the first syllable)
in two – and more syllable verbs ending with -I (if preceded by a short vowel, we double the final -I: travel – travelling
signal – signalling
If the verb ends in e, this vowel is omitted. There are some exceptions (verbs ending with –ee ) have – having
make – making
prepare – preparing

QUESTIONS AND NEGATIVE FORMS

Questions in Present Continuous are formed through an inversion – reversing the word order in a sentence.
Let’s compare:

I am working at the moment.
Am I working at the moment?

The negative sentence is formed by contradicting the auxiliary verb to be – that is, adding word not to the form of the conjugated verb:

It’s raining.
It‘s not raining/ It isn’t raining.


USAGE

Present Continuous expresses the actions happening in a given moment, when we talk about them:

Tom is hiding under the table.
Where are you going?
Look! it’s snowing again!

Present Continuous does not occur with verbs, such as: know, see, need, remember, forget, prefer, believe, seem, hear, belong etc. It should then be replaced by Present Simple Tense

TIME EXPRESSIONS

These are the most characteristic time expressions used in Present Continuous:

  • at the moment
  • at present
  • this week/ month
  • now
  • today
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