Present continuous tense (I am doing)

Study this example situation:

Present continuous tense (I am doing) 1

John is in his car. He is on his way to work.He‘s driving to work. (= He is driving …)

This means: He is driving now, at the time of speaking.The action is not finished.

am/is/are + -ing is the present continuous:

I am (=I’m) driving,reading,speaking etc.
he/she/it is (=he’s)
we/you/they are (=we’re)

I am doing something = I started doing it and I haven’t finished; I’m in the middle of doing it.

  • Please don’t make so much noise. I’m trying to work. (not I try)
  • ‘Where’s Mark?’ ‘He’s having a shower.’ (not He has a shower)
  • Let’s go out now. It isn’t raining any more. (not It doesn’t rain)
  • How’s your new job? Are you enjoying it?
  • What’s all that noise? What’s going on? or What’s happening?

Sometimes the action is not happening at the time of speaking. For example:

Steve is talking to a friend on the phone. He says:I’m reading a really good book at the moment.It’s about a man who …

Steve says ‘I’m reading…..’ but he is not reading the book at the time of speaking.

He means that he has started reading the book,but has not finished it yet. He is in the middle of reading it.

some more examples:

Seth wants to work in Italy, so he’s learning Italian.(but perhaps he isn’t learning Italian at the time of speaking)

You can use the present continuous with today / this week / this year etc. (periods around now):

  • You’re working hard today. (not You work hard today)

We use the present continuous when we talk about a change that has started to happen. We oft en use
these verbs in this way:

getting, becomingchanging, improving
starting, beginningincreasing, rising, falling, growing
  • Is your English getting better? (not Does your English get better)
  • The population of the world is increasing very fast. (not increases)
  • At first I didn’t like my job, but I’m starting to enjoy it now. (not I start)

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