Present Progressive Tense- Present Continuous, rules & examples

The present progressive tense describes an action that is going on at present or at this moment. It is always progressive at present time. This article could be about grammatical tense in English. This continuous additionally referred to as the present progressive or present imperfect is a verb type employed in English that mixes the present tense with the continual aspect. It is utilized in each indicative and subjunctive mood. In the English language, about 5% of verbs are within the present progressive form. Examples of Present progressive tense-

  • I am reading a novel.
  • He is playing football.
  • People are watching the cricket match.
  • I am not watching TV at this moment.
  • Are they doing the work now?
  • What is going on in your house?
  • Are you working?

Present Progressive

Structure of Present Continuous Tense

Subject+Be verb am/is/are(according to the number and person)+Present form of the verb+ing+Object/Extension.


  • Tina is reading a book.

Here Tina is the subject. As Tina is the third person singular number, be verb ‘IS’ places after subject. ‘Read’ is the present form of the verb. So ‘ing’ is added with “read”. Then Object ‘a book’ takes place.

Persons Singular Plural
First Person I am reading We are reading
I am watching We are watching
I am eating We are eating.
Second Person You are working You are working
Third Person He is doing They are doing
He is running They are running
She is working They are working
It is raining

The negative form of Present progressive tense

Structure: Subject+Am/is/are+not+verb+ing+object/extension. Examaples are-

  • Affirmative: I am reading.
  • Negative: I am not reading.
  • Affirmative: We are playing.
  • Negative: We are not playing.

The interrogative form of present continuous

Structure: Be verb(am/is/are)+Subject+Verb (Present Form)+ing+object/Extension+sign of interrogation. Examples-

  • Affirmative: They are playing.
  • Interrogative: Are they playing?
  • Affirmative: She is making tea.
  • Interrogative: Is she making tea?

The negative interrogative form of the Present Continuous

Structure: Be verb(am/is/are)+Subject+Not+Verb (Present Form)+ing+object/Extension+sign of interrogation. Examples-

  • Affirmative: I am reading the book.
  • Negative interrogative: Am I not reading the book?
Affirmative Negative Interrogative Negative- interrogative
I am reading. I am not reading. Am I reading? Am I not reading?
You are reading. You are not reading. Are you reading? Are you Not Reading?
He/she is working  He/she is not working? Is he/she is working? Is he/she not working?

Contracted form of present Continuous tense

Affirmative Negative Negative-Interrogative
I’m reading. I’m not reading. Ain’t I reading?
They’re reading. They aren’t/They’re not reading. Aren’t they reading?
He’s reading He isn’t/he’s not reading Isn’t he reading?

Common Uses of present progressive tense

  • To describe the near future: I am leaving tomorrow.
  • Any work started earlier means to continue for some time now: Gary is working on the examination.
  • Always and continuously with any work that is almost recurring to mean annoyance or discomfort: The student is always disturbing the class.
  • To Describe the changing situation: The infection of coronavirus is increasing rapidly.
  • To indicate ‘today, this session, this year’: He often goes by bus but today he is going by train.
  • What is going on while the speaker is speaking but not at the moment of speaking: He is painting the building.
  • To describe an action that is taking place now and is subject to interruption: Erick cannot come to the phone since he is sleeping.

The following Verbs are not usually present continuous tense:

  • Verbs of perception/Sense: Feel, hear, See, smell, notice, observe, etc.
  • Verbs of feeling and emotions: Desire, Dislike, Fear, hate, want, like, love, mind, wish, adore, appreciate. value, etc.
  • Possession verbs: Belong, own, possess
  • Verbs of thinking: Understand, know, think, realize, believe, expect, recollect, remember, forget, recall, trust, etc
  • The auxiliaries: may, shall, will, can, must, etc.


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