Perfect English Grammar Login Contact Courses Membership Speaking Explanations Exercises Method

How to make the Present Continuous Tense

Perfect English Grammar

Also called the Present Progressive Tense

The present continuous (sometimes called the present progressive) tense in English is really easy to make and is the same for all verbs. We make it using the present simple of 'be' + verb-ing:

Click here to download this explanation as a pdf.

Click here if you'd prefer to learn how to USE this tense.

Here is how we make the positive:

Positive Positive Short Form
I am sleeping I'm sleeping
you are sleeping you're sleeping
he is sleeping he's sleeping
she is sleeping she's sleeping
it is sleeping it's sleeping
we are sleeping we're sleeping
they are sleeping they're sleeping

We can make the negative by adding 'not':

Negative Negative Short Form
I am not sleeping I'm not sleeping
you are not playing you aren't playing
he is not reading he isn't reading
she is not working she isn't working
it is not raining it isn't raining
we are not cooking we aren't cooking
they are not listening they aren't listening

Practise making the positive and the negative forms (exercise 1)
Practise making the positive and the negative forms (exercise 2)

Questions are also really, really easy. Just like we made the question with 'be' in the present simple, here we also put 'am', 'is', or 'are' before the subject to make a 'yes / no' question:

Yes / No Questions
am I eating chocolate ?
are you studying now ?
is he working ?
is she doing her homework ?
is it raining ?
are we meeting at six ?
are they coming ?

For 'wh' questions, just put the question word at the front:

Wh Questions
Why am I eating chocolate ?
What are you studying now ?
When is he working ?
What is she doing ?
Why is it raining ?
Who are we meeting ?
How are they travelling ?

Practise making 'wh' and 'yes / no' questions (exercise 1)
Practise making 'wh' and 'yes / no' questions (exercise 2)

Mixed Exercise 1 (includes positive, negative, and questions)
Mixed Exercise 2
Mixed Exercise 3

Click here if you'd like to learn how to USE the Present Continuous