Present continuous

The present continuous, also called the present progressive or present imperfect, is a verb form used in modern English that combines the present tense with the continuous aspect.[1] It can be employed in both the indicative and subjunctive moods. Approximately 5% of verbs in spoken English are in the present continuous form.[2]

Common usesEdit

The present continuous is used in several instances:[3][4][5][6]

  • To describe something which is happening at the exact moment of speech:[4][5][6]
The boy is laughing.
  • To describe an action that is taking place now but not at the exact moment of speech:[5][6]
They are working in Dubai.
  • To describe an event planned in the future[4][5] (in combination with a time indicator for the future):
I'm resitting my French exam on Tuesday.
  • With always but meaning often (used to emphasize the frequency of an action in a humorous or hyperbolic way):[5][6]
My parents are always making me go to school!
She is always playing with that doll!
He is always eating chocolate.
  • To describe an action that is taking place now and is subject to interruption:
Ellen cannot come to the phone since she is sleeping.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Tense vs aspect | Collins ELT". Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  2. ^ "Present Continuous Tense". Ginseng English. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  3. ^ "Present continuous (intermediate)". LearnEnglish | British Council. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  4. ^ a b c "Present continuous". LearnEnglish | British Council. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  5. ^ a b c d e "The present continuous tense - Easy Learning Grammar". Collins Dictionary. Retrieved 2019-03-05.
  6. ^ a b c d "talking about the present". British Council. Retrieved 2019-03-03.