a writer

1 Introduction

This lesson covers all the basics of the present progressive tense. It includes: explanations, examples, illustrations, exercises, activities, rules, and games.

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Before we start the lesson, take this short quiz to test your knowledge:

2 Present Progressive Rules: Quiz


3 The Present Progressive Tense

(Also Called the Present Continuous)

The Present Progressive is a very common tense in English. You should understand it, and know it well.


4 How Do We Use This Tense?

The Present Progressive is a form of the verb that shows the action is in progress in the present.

Here are the different usages of this tense:

  • Actions that are happening now
  • Actions that are currently in progress (not at this exact moment, but in the present.
    For example: these days, this month, this year)
  • Planned future actions
  • Annoying repeating actions

A Actions that Are Happening Now

(The verbs are in bold)

She is running.


The phone is ringing.


They are talking.


B Actions that Are Currently in Progress

(Not at this exact second, but in the present.
For example: these days, this month, this year)

This month they are practicing for a contest.


He is working in an office.


They are studying a lot these days.


They are fighting for their country.


C Planned Future Actions

Tomorrow he is returning home.


She is meeting her friends tonight.


He is starting a new job in the morning.


She is traveling to Paris this afternoon.


D Annoying Repeating Actions

My aunt is always posting embarrassing stuff!

He is always coming late.


This guy is always smoking!


5 Examples of Typical Time Expressions

NowThe present time periodNear futureAnnoying repeating actions
nowthese daysthis afternoonalways
right nowtodaytonightconstantly
this momentthis weeknext week
this monthon Sunday
this yearafter dinner
currentlytomorrow

6 Examples of the Present Progressive Tense

The following examples of Present Progressive tense will help you understand and use this tense properly and naturally.

Note: the Present Progressive verbs are colored.

Present Progressive Tense Example Sentences

A) Actions that are happening now:

eat dinner

We are having lunch.

We are not having lunch right now.

Are you having lunch right now?

They are singing very nicely.

Present Progressive (Also Called the Present Continuous)

This kid is sleeping.

Why is this kid sleeping?

Andrew is playing the guitar and Bella is listening to him.

What are Bella and Andrew doing?

golf

Bella and Andrew are not playing golf.


B) Actions that are currently in progress
(Not at this exact moment, but in the present.
For example: these days, this month, this year):

We are moving to Packard Street this week.

a woman on a bike

Usually I work in an office, but this month I am traveling from place to place.

Julie is studying so hard because she has a lot of exams these days. 

Patrick is temporarily working from home.

She is having a lot of trouble with her divorce. 

I am studying to become a teacher. 

reads a book

Jane is reading the book “War and Peace”.

C) Actions that will happen in the near future:

run into a friend

I am meeting Robert this afternoon.

Are you coming with us to the party tonight?

When are you having lunch?

Patricia is returning later this week.

They are arranging a special dinner and they want us to come.

am not watching the game this evening. I have homework.

work

He is not going to the party tonight.

D) Annoying repeating actions:

She is always complaining about something.

They are constantly fighting.

Josh is always smoking.

You are always coming late!

always raining

It is always raining!

Next:

  • Present Progressive Rules
  • Spelling Rules for Adding ING
  • Spelling Rules for Adding ING: Quiz
  • Examples of the Present Progressive Tense: Activity
  • Present Progressive Exercises
  • Present Progressive Games

7 Present Progressive Rules

Here you can find tables with Present Progressive rules on:
positive sentences, negative sentences and questions.

Positive Sentences

Who?Form of verbExamples
I am + verb + ingI am reading now.
He/She/It is + verb + ingHe is reading now.
She is reading now.
It is reading now.
Youare + verb + ingYou are reading now.
We are + verb + ingWe are reading now.
They are + verb + ingThey are reading now.

Short forms:

  • I am => I’m
  • He is => He’s
  • She is => She’s
  • It is = It’s
  • You are = You’re
  • We are => We’re
  • They are => They’re

Negative Sentences

Who?Form of verbExamples
I am + not + verb + ingI am not reading now.
I’m not reading now.
He/She/It is + not + verb + ingHe is not reading now.
He isn’t reading now.
He’s not reading now.

She is not reading now.
She isn’t reading now.
She’s not reading now.

It is not reading now.
It isn’t reading now.
It’s not reading now.
You are + not + verb + ingYou are not reading now.
You aren’t reading now.
You’re not reading now.
We are + not + verb + ingWe are not reading now.
We aren’t reading now.
We’re not reading now.
They are + not + verb + ingThey are not reading now.
They aren’t reading now.
They’re not reading now.

Short forms:

  • is not => isn’t
  • are not = aren’t

Question Sentences

Who?Form of verbExamples
AmIverb + ingAm I reading now?
Ishe/she/itverb + ingIs he reading now?
Is she reading now?
Is it reading now?
Areyouverb + ingAre you reading now?
Areweverb + ingAre we reading now?
Aretheyverb + ingAre they reading now?

8 Spelling Rules for Adding ING

Introduction

Vowel = a sound we make when the breath flows out through the mouth freely, without being blocked. The English letters aeiou are called vowels, because they represent such sounds.

Consonant = a sound we make that is not a vowel. The breath is somehow blocked on its way out of the mouth. For example, the sound b is made when breath flow is stopped with the lips. All the English letters which are not vowels are called consonants. These are: bcdfghjklmnpqrstvwxyz.


Some verbs change their spelling when “ing” is added to them.

Verbs ending with “consonant-vowel-consonant”

When a verb ends with a consonant-vowel-consonant and we put STRESS on this sound in speech, we double the last consonant. Then we add ing.

In the following examples the STRESS is underlined.

run➡️runn + ing➡️running
stop➡️stopp + ing➡️stopping
plan➡️plann + ing➡️planning
begin➡️beginn + ing➡️beginning

But if we don’t put STRESS on this sound in speech, then we simply add ing.

open➡️open + ing➡️opening
visit➡️visit + ing➡️visiting
listen➡️listen + ing➡️listening
happen➡️happen + ing➡️happening

Verbs ending with “x”, “y”, “z”, or “w”

Never double the letters x, y, z, or w.

fix➡️fix + ing➡️fixing
buzz➡️buzz + ing➡️buzzing
chew➡️chew + ing➡️chewing
enjoy➡️enjoy + ing➡️enjoying

Verbs ending with “e”

When a verb ends with the letter e, we first remove it, and then add ing.

take➡️tak + ing➡️taking
make➡️mak + ing➡️making
dance➡️danc + ing➡️dancing
write➡️writ + ing➡️writing

Verbs ending with “ie”

When a verb ends with the letters ie, we change them into y and add ing.

lie➡️ly + ing➡️lying
die➡️dy + ing➡️dying

9 Spelling Rules for Adding ING: Quiz


10 Examples of the Present Progressive Tense: Activity


11 Present Progressive Exercises


12 Present Progressive Games

Game 1: Find the Present Progressive Verbs

Game 2: Drag and Drop

Game 3: Memory Game to Match Positive and Negative


This lesson covers all the basics on the present progressive tense. It includes: explanations, examples, illustrations, exercises, activities, and rules.

You can purchase our full online English Tenses Course here. If you prefer eBooks, you can purchase our Tenses eBook Series here.

You can also get full access to all our courses:

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