Present Continuous Tense - Orchids The International School
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Concept: Present Continuous Tense


  • The present continuous tense refers to a continuing action or state that is happening in the present tense.
  • The present continuous tense can also be called the present progressive tense.



In the above example, these people are doing an action (eating) that is happening right now. Therefore, this is an example of the present continuous tense.

How to Form the Present Continuous Tense?

1. Every tense form has a format that we need to follow to be grammatically correct. The sentence form for the present continuous tense is as follows:

We use the present tense of the ‘be’ form (am, is/are) of the auxiliary verb followed by the verb in the present participle form. We form the present participle verb by adding ‘-ing’ to the main verb.


Rahul is study - ing for the exam

2. The auxiliary used in the present continuous tense changes depending on the subject of the sentence. Follow the guidelines given below for the different subjects used in the sentence.

Sr. No Subjects Auxiliary Examples
1 Singular Noun & Singular Pronouns (he, she, it) is
  1. He is sitting in the park right now.
  2. She is drinking tea in the cafeteria.
  3. Ratna is making delicious cookies.
2 Pronoun ‘I’ am
  1. I am playing the piano.
  2. I am driving my father to his office.
3 Plural Nouns and Pronouns (we, you, they) are
  1. Raktim and I are swimming in the pool right now.
  2. We are spending our holidays in Kerala.
  3. They are giving me a birthday party.

Make a Present Continuous Tense Negative

To make the past continuous tense negative, we need to put the word ‘not’ after the auxiliary (is/are/ not).


  1. I am not going to school today because it is raining outside.
  2. Akash is not participating in the music competition.

How to Make a Present Continuous Tense Interrogative?

In order to make a present continuous tense interrogative, we have to start the question with the auxiliary present “be verb” (is/are/am) followed by the subject and a present participle verb. The sentence ends with a question mark (?).


  1. Is he making pizza for my friends?
  2. Are we going to the beach?

When do We Use the Present Continuous Tense?

1. We use present continuous tense to describe an action that is happening right now



The woman in the picture is making food.

The action done by the woman is cooking.

2. It is used to describe an action that has already started and will continue till sometime in the future. That means the action is still happening in the present.



The speaker has already started studying, and he will continue it in the future until he becomes an engineer. Therefore, the action (study) takes place in the present.

Common Mistake:

Sometimes we describe an action that we have planned to do in the near future, we use the present continuous tense. However, we have to use the future tense instead of the present continuous tense.



The speaker is planning to do an action in the near future, that is, meet his friend in the near future. He hasn’t met his friend yet. In such cases, we can use the future tense.

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