Read about using the present continuousWhen you're ready, try these exercises to practise using the present continuous.

Using the present continuous

She is eating an apple (present continuous).We use be + verb-ing to make the present continuous. The two main uses are: 

Actions in progress now - they started before now, and are not finished.

I'm eating an apple.

Temporary situations - it is true now, but maybe not happening at the moment of speaking. You know it will change in the future.

I'm eating a lot of bananas these days.

Common time words often used with the present continuous are now, at the moment, and these days.


How to make the present continuous

Use be + verb-ing to make this structure. When speaking, remember to use contractions to sound more natural:

I am working→ I'm working

He is working → He's working

We are working → We're working

+ I'm studying French.
- I'm not studying French.
? Am I studying French?
He / She / It
+ She's studying French.
- She isn't studying French.
? Is she studying French?
I / You / We / They
+ They are studying French.
- They aren't studying French.
? Are they studying French?

Advanced uses of the present continuous

Annoying habits

We usually use the present simple for habits or repeated actions. However, you can use the present continuous with 'always' if you want to show that you are annoyed or amused by a habit.

You're always losing your wallet! ?

Telling anecdotes and jokes

Usually we use past tenses to tell stories, but sometimes we use present simple and continuous to make it feel more exciting. In this example, the present continuous is used to set the background to the story:

So, last night, I'm walking down the street, and I see a tall man, and he says to me ...

Now try these exercises to practise using the present continuous.