English The Present Continuous


Learn how to form the present continuous (aka present progressive), and when to use it.

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The present continuous signifies something that is happening right now.
To form the present continuous, we use the personal pronoun (I, You, He/She/It, We, You, They) with the appropriate form of “to be” plus the verb+ing.

presentcontinous 1

Positive Examples

  • I am working.
  • You are sleeping.
  • She is going to work.
  • He is doing well.
  • We are eating dinner.
  • They are making dinner.

Negative Examples

  • I am not working.
  • You are not sleeping.
  • She is not going to work.
  • He is not doing well.
  • We are not eating dinner.
  • They are not making dinner.

Contraction Examples

  • I’m working. – I’m not working
  • You’re not sleeping– You aren’t sleeping.
  • She’s not going to work. – She isn’t going to work.
  • He’s not doing well. – He isn’t doing well.
  • We’re not eating dinner. – We aren’t eating dinner.
  • They’re not making dinner. – They aren’t making dinner.

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:
Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
Specific Capabilities at this Level
I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.
Spoken Production:
I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know.
Spoken Interaction:
I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I’m trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.
I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.
I can recognize familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.