Present continuous tense overview

The present continuous tense is used to talk about things that are happening at the moment of speaking. For example, I am working on my computer at the moment. What are you doing? You are learning grammar.

Form: Subject + is / am / are + -ing form of the verb

  • What is your mother doing now? Is she cooking? No, she is watching TV.
  • What is your sister doing at the moment? She is doing her homework.
  • What is your brother doing now? He is playing in the garden.
  • What is your father doing now? He is fixing his car.

Now that you have become familiar with this tense form talk about other things you know are happening now.

  • What are the birds doing? The birds are chirping.
  • What is the baby doing? The baby is sleeping.
  • What are the children doing? The children are playing cricket in the garden.
  • What are you doing now? You are learning about the present continuous tense.

Suggested activity

Take a story book with lots of pictures. Go through the pages and ask yourself questions based on the pictures.

  • What are the girls doing now? They are singing.
  • What are the birds doing now? They are flying in the sky.
  • What is the cat doing now? It is chasing a mouse.
  • What is the fox doing? The fox is trying to catch the rabbit.
  • What are the boys doing? Are they flying kites? No, they are playing cricket.
  • What is the girl holding in her hand? Is she holding a bird? No, she is not holding a bird.
  • What is the girl doing? The girl is carrying a pail of water.
  • She is holding a puppy in her hand. The puppy is howling in pain because it has hurt its leg.
  • What is the old man doing?
  • Is he sleeping? No, he is not sleeping. He is sitting under a tree.
  • What are the dogs doing? Are they chasing a cat? No, they are not chasing a cat. They are fighting over a bone.

Can you recognize the present continuous tense form? It is formed with is / am / are + -ing form of the verb.

Use is when the subject is a singular noun or a third person singular pronoun (he, she, it).

  • She is running.
  • Father is jogging.
  • He is playing.
  • It is raining.
  • The dog is barking.
  • Mother is reading.

Use are when the subject is a plural noun or a plural pronoun (we, you and they).

  • They are working.
  • The child is sleeping.
  • The girls are dancing.
  • You are disturbing me.
  • We are waiting for you.
  • The birds are singing.

Use am when the subject is the first person pronoun I.

  • I am working on my computer.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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