lunes, 4 de mayo de 2015

Present Continuous


[am/is/are + present participle]

  • You are watching TV.
  • Are you watching TV?
  • You are not watching TV.
Complete List of Present Continuous Forms

USE 1 Now

Use the Present Continuous with Normal Verbs to express the idea that something is happening now, at this very moment. It can also be used to show that something is not happening now.
  • You are learning English now.
  • You are not swimming now.
  • Are you sleeping?
  • am sitting.
  • am not standing.
  • Is he sitting or standing?
  • They are reading their books.
  • They are not watching television.
  • What are you doing?
  • Why aren't you doing your homework?

USE 2 Longer Actions in Progress Now

In English, "now" can mean: this second, today, this month, this year, this century, and so on. Sometimes, we use the Present Continuous to say that we are in the process of doing a longer action which is in progress; however, we might not be doing it at this exact second.
Examples: (All of these sentences can be said while eating dinner in a restaurant.)
  • am studying to become a doctor.
  • am not studying to become a dentist.
  • am reading the book Tom Sawyer.
  • am not reading any books right now.
  • Are you working on any special projects at work?
  • Aren't you teaching at the university now?

USE 3 Near Future

Sometimes, speakers use the Present Continuous to indicate that something will or will not happen in the near future.
  • am meeting some friends after work.
  • am not going to the party tonight.
  • Is he visiting his parents next weekend?
  • Isn't he coming with us tonight?

USE 4 Repetition and Irritation with "Always"

The Present Continuous with words such as "always" or "constantly" expresses the idea that something irritating or shocking often happens. Notice that the meaning is like Simple Present, but with negative emotion. Remember to put the words "always" or "constantly" between "be" and "verb+ing."
  • She is always coming to class late.
  • He is constantly talking. I wish he would shut up.
  • I don't like them because they are always complaining.

REMEMBER Non-Continuous Verbs/ Mixed Verbs

It is important to remember that Non-Continuous Verbs cannot be used in any continuous tenses. Also, certain non-continuous meanings for Mixed Verbs cannot be used in continuous tenses. Instead of using Present Continuous with these verbs, you must use Simple Present.
  • She is loving this chocolate ice cream. Not Correct
  • She loves this chocolate ice cream. Correct


The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc.
  • You are still watching TV.
  • Are you still watching TV?


  • Right now, Tom is writing the letter. Active
  • Right now, the letter is being written by Tom. Passive


Grammatical Rules (Reglas gramaticales)

Form (Forma)

Para formar el presente continuo se utiliza el verbo auxiliar "to be" y el gerundio (infinitivo + "-ing") del verbo.
SujetoAuxiliar (to be)Gerundio
Iamtalking, eating, learning, doing, going...
He, She, Itistalking, eating, learning, doing, going...
You, We, Theyaretalking, eating, learning, doing, going...

Structure (Estructura)

  1. Affirmative Sentences (Frases afirmativas)
    EstructuraSujeto + verbo auxiliar ("to be") + gerundio ("-ing").
    • Ejemplos:
    • I'm talking(Estoy hablando.)
    • He's eating(Está comiendo.)
    • They're learning(Están aprendiendo.)
  2. Negative Sentences (Frases negativas)
    EstructuraSujeto + verbo auxiliar ("to be") + auxiliar negativo ("not") + gerundio ("-ing").
    • Ejemplos:
    • I'm not talking(No estoy hablando.)
    • He's not [He isn't] eating(No está comiendo.)
    • They're not [They aren't] learning(No están aprendiendo.)
  3. Interrogative Sentences (Frases interrogativas)
    Verbo auxiliar ("to be") + sujeto + gerundio ("-ing")?
    • Ejemplos:
    • Are you talking(¿Estás hablando?)
    • Is he eating(¿Está comiendo?)
    • Are they learning(¿Están aprendiendo?)

Uses (Usos)

  1. El presente continuo se utiliza para hablar sobre algo que está pasando en el momento en el que hablamos.Expresiones de tiempo tales como "now", "right now" and "at the moment" indican el presente continuo.
    • Ejemplos:
    • I'm studying now(Estoy estudiando ahora.)
    • He's eating at the moment(Está comiendo en este momento.)
    • Is it raining? (¿Está lloviendo?)
  2. También lo usamos para hablar de algo que está sucediendo en la actualidad pero no necesariamente cuando hablamos. En este caso, se utilizan expresiones de tiempo como "currently", "lately" o "these days".
    • Ejemplos:
    • They're learning English. (Están aprendiendo inglés.)
    • She's currently looking for a job. (Actualmente está buscando un trabajo.)
    • Are you working much lately(¿Estás trabajando mucho últimamente?)
  3. Usamos el presente continuo para hablar de algo que está ya decidido que se hará en el futuro próximo. Su uso indica que es bastante seguro que lo planificado sucederá.
    • Ejemplos:
    • I'm going to the party tonight(Voy a la fiesta esta noche.)
    • He's not [He isn't] coming to class tomorrow(No viene a la clase manaña.)
    • Are you working next week(¿Trabajas la semana que viene?)
Nota: Hay unos verbos que no solemos usar en los tiempos continuos. Puedes consultar la lista de verbos de tiempos continuos y su explicación.
be,  want,  need,  know,  prefer,  remember,  understand,  care, see,  hear,  smell,  believe,  belong,  cost,  seem,  exist,  own,  like,  dislike,  love,  hate,  fear,  envy,  mind...
  • Ejemplos
  • David needs a new car.
  • David is needing a new car.


I am goingI am not goingAm I going?
You are goingYou aren't going.Are you going?
He, she, it is goingHe, she, it isn't goingIs he, she, it going?
We are goingWe aren't goingAre we going?
You are goingYou aren't goingAre you going?
They are goingThey aren't goingAre they going?
Note: alternative negative contractions: I'm not going, you're not going, he's not going etc.


As with all tenses in English, the speaker's attitude is as important as the time of the action or event. When someone uses the present continuous, they are thinking about something that is unfinished or incomplete
  • to describe an action that is going on at this moment: You are using the InternetYou are studying English grammar.
  • to describe an action that is going on during this period of time or a trend: Are you still working for the same company? More and more people are becoming vegetarian.
  • to describe an action or event in the future, which has already been planned or prepared: We're going on holiday tomorrowI'm meeting my boyfriend tonightAre they visiting you next winter?
  • to describe a temporary event or situation: He usually plays the drums, but he's playing bass guitar tonightThe weather forecast was good, but it's raining at the moment.
  • with "always, forever, constantly", to describe and emphasise a continuing series of repeated actions: Harry and Sally are always arguingYou're constantly complaining about your mother-in-law!
BE CAREFUL! Some verbs are not usually used in the continuous form


The verbs in the list below are normally used in the simple form because they refer to states, rather than actions or processes.
  • to feel*
  • to hear
  • to see*
  • to smell
  • to taste
  • to assume
  • to believe
  • to consider
  • to doubt
  • to feel (= to think)
  • to find (= to consider)
  • to suppose
  • to think*
  • to forget
  • to imagine
  • to know
  • to mean
  • to notice
  • to recognise
  • to remember
  • to understand
  • to envy
  • to fear
  • to dislike
  • to hate
  • to hope
  • to like
  • to love
  • to mind
  • to prefer
  • to regret
  • to want
  • to wish
  • to contain
  • to cost
  • to hold
  • to measure
  • to weigh
  • to look (=resemble)
  • to seem
  • to be (in most cases)
  • to have(when it means "to possess")*
Perception verbs (see, hear, feel, taste, smell) are often used with can: I can see... These verbs may be used in the continuous form but with a different meaning
  • This coat feels nice and warm. (your perception of the coat's qualities)
  • John's feeling much better now (his health is improving)
  • She has three dogs and a cat. (possession)
  • She's having supper. (She's eating)
  • I can see Anthony in the garden (perception)
  • I'm seeing Anthony later  

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