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:

(More about the difference between the present simple and the present continuous here.)

Present Continuous Infographic

1: First, we use it for things that are happening at the moment of speaking.

2: We can also use this tense for temporary situations, when we feel something won't continue for a long time.

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).

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'.

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.

6: Finally we use this tense to talk about a situation which is slowly changing.

We can't use this tense (or any other continuous tense) with stative verbs.

Click for an exercise about the present simple and the present continuous

Return to the main verb tenses page from the page about present continuous use

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