Present Continuous Use
(Also called the present progressive tense)
So, now you can make the present continuous tense. But what about how we use the present continuous? Here are some situations when we need this tense:
1: First, we use it for things that are happening at the moment of speaking.
- I'm working at the moment.
- Please call back as we are eating dinner now.
- Julie is sleeping.
- You are studying the present continuous.
2: We can also use this tense for temporary situations, when we feel something won't continue for a long time.
- She's staying with her friend for a week.
- I'm living in London for a few months.
- John's working in a bar until he finds a job in his field.
- I'm reading a really great book.
Compare this with the present simple, which is used for permanent situations that we feel will continue for a long time.
3: We can use the present continuous for habits but they have to be temporary or new habits (for normal habits that continue for a long time, we use the present simple).
- He's eating a lot these days.
- She's swimming every morning (she didn't use to do this).
- You're smoking too much.
- They're working late every night.
4: Another present continuous use is for annoying habits, when we want to show that something happens too often and we don't like it. In this case we usually use an adverb like 'always', 'forever' or 'constantly'.
- You're always losing your keys!
- She's constantly missing the train.
- He's always sleeping in.
- They're forever being late.
5: The next use is for definite future arrangements (with a future time word). In this case we have already made a plan and we are pretty sure that the event will happen in the future.
- I'm meeting my father tomorrow.
- We're going to the beach at the weekend.
- I'm leaving at three.
- They're coming to the party at the weekend.
6: Finally we use this tense to talk about a situation which is slowly changing.
- I'm getting better at playing the piano.
- The weather is improving.
We can't use this tense (or any other continuous tense) with stative verbs.