Present Continuous Tense

Present Continuous Tense :

Let us read the following conversation.

Where are you going at this late hour?

We are going towards the big park at the centre of the town. Many more people are coming there. We are holding a candlelight protest march against the wastage of electricity. All of us are spending the night there and returning only when the sun rises.

All the words in bold are in the present continuous tense.

As you can see, the present continuous tense is used to express an action that is occurring at the present moment.

The present continuous tense is also used when

The present continuous tense is also used when we want to talk about an action that is going on nowadays, and not necessarily just now at the present moment.

For example :

My father is working in Chennai nowadays.

The present continuous tense is also used when we want to talk about a definite programme in the near future.

For example :

It is my mother’s birthday next week, so we are giving her a surprise party.

We must remember that actually we do not use the simple present to talk about actions that are going on in the present! For such actions we use the present continuous. So, when do we use the simple present tense?

Simple Present or Present Continuous?

We use the simple present tense when we talk about an action that occurs regularly.

For example :

I go to school by bus every day.

1. The earth rotates around its own axis and revolves around the sun.
2. Films entertain people.

The present continuous tense is used to talk about an action that is happening in present.

For example :

1. I am going to school by bus now.
2. I am doing my homework now.

For example sentences :

1. My mother bakes delicious cakes. Today, she is baking a pineapple upside-down cake.

2. Mohan goes to the gym in the evenings but today he is going in the morning as it will be closed in the evening.

3. In India, people celebrate Diwali with a lot of enthusiasm. This year, people are celebrating this festival earlier than usual.

4. Doctors usually visit all the patients, but today they are not in the hospital because they going on a strike against the bad working conditions.

5. Jasmine usually dresses up very quickly. I wonder why she is taking so long today.

6. We are having our lunch early today since we have to go for the rehearsals.

7. Usually, we have our lunch at 1 o’clock.

8. Father does not work on Sundays. He goes to the temple, writes e-mails to his friends and listens to some good music. Today, he is not feeling well, so he is sleeping.

9. Why do you sniff at the dish? It smells bad?

10. Do not disturb me. Please, I am studying. I usually study in the mornings.

11. All the contestants are getting ready to participate in the competition. Usually, they practice for two hours every day and practice right now in the auditorium.

Present Continuous Tense

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