English Tense: Present Continuous
(Is I am/are + Verb + ing)
In order to form the Present Continuous Tense, we add Present Participle to is, am or are. The Present Participle is formed by adding ‘ing’ to the first form of the verb. ‘Is’ is used with he, she, it or Third Person Singular Noun, ‘am’ is used with ‘I’ and ‘are’ is used with we, you, they and plural Nouns.
She is singing a song.
Birds are flying in the sky.
I am writing a story.
In Interrogative form, the helping verb is used before the subject. [Is/am/are + Subject + (.Verb + ing)..... ?]
Are you going home ?
Is it hailing ?
Am I telling a lie ?
In Negative form, we add ‘not’ between the Principal Verb and the operative helping verb.
[Subject + is/am/are + not + (Verb + ing) ...]
She is not weeping.
I am not appearing in the test.
Farmers are not ploughing their fields.
Uses of the Present Continuous Tense
The Present Continuous Tense is used with the words—at this time, at present, at the moment, now, nowadays, still etc. and in the following cases:
(a) To describe an action in progress and/or the continuity of the action.
The girls are singing a chorus.
The well is working.
The ducks are swimming in the pond.
(b) To describe an action in progress, but not necessarily at the time of speaking.
What are you writing these days?
I am writing a book on Mathematics.
She is revising her course now.
We are waiting for the guests at the moment.
(c) To express an action definitely planned for the near Future.
I am not going to
Is she inviting you to the feast?
The schools are closing this Saturday.
We are holding a seminar next month.
(d) To express an action that has become a habit for doing it over and over again.
Manu /s always asking questions.
You are always running me down.
She is always borrowing money.
Note. The following words are seldom used in the Present Continuous Tense;
(a) Hear, notice, see, smell.
(b) Admire, adore, care, desire, forgive, hate, like, refuse, want, wish, know and forget etc.
(c) Own, owe, belong, possess.
The above words can however be used in the Continuous Tenses. In that case, they convey a changed meaning, e.g.,
She is tasting the soup to confirm if it needs more salt.
(She is tasting the flavour of the soup.)
She is thinking of visiting my house.
(thinking of means planning.)
They are having rest. (Having means taking.)