This form describes the simple engagement in a present activity, with the focus
on action in progress "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?
I am sitting.
I 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?
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.
I am studying to become a doctor.
I am not studying to become a dentist.
I am reading the book Tom Sawyer.
I am not reading any books right now.
Are you working on any special projects at
Aren't you teaching at the university now?
It too can indicate a future, particularly when discussing plans already
in place: I am flying to Paris
I am meeting some friends after work.
I am not going to the party tonight.
Is he visiting his parents next weekend?
Isn't he coming with us tonight?
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 Present Simple, 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?
ACTIVE / PASSIVE
Right now, Tom is writing the letter. Active
Right now, the letter is being written by Tom.