Present Continuous for higher levels
Hello! How are you today?
Are you smiling right now while you're listening to my voice?
Hey, what tense was that? “Are you smiling?” what was that?
You're absolutely right! It is the Present Continuous.
Can you tell me when we use the Present Continuous tense?
Well, the most obvious use of this tense is to talk about things happening at the moment. For example, right now I am recording this podcast. And at this moment, you are listening to or reading these words.
So tell me please, what are you holding in your hands now?
Oh, you know, I'm reading a very interesting book this week!
But I'm not reading it right now. I have already started it but I haven't finished it yet, and I'm planning on finishing it this week. But I'm not going to read it forever, this is only a temporary situation. So we use the Present Continuous tense for temporary situations happening around now. What are you reading this week?
Your English is becoming better! It is changing gradually, and every day you know a bit more than the previous day. This is a developing situation. We also use the Present Continuous tense for changing and developing situations.
What changes are happening in your life?
I am writing this podcast and drinking tea at the same time.
These are two continued actions that are happening at the same time, which is now. So we use the Present Continuous tense for two continued actions that are happening at the same time, now.
Right now you are listening to (or reading) this podcast, and also you're probably doing something else? What else are you doing while you're listening to this podcast?
Soon I will need to go because I'm meeting some friends tonight; we are going to a restaurant.
This is an arrangement. Last week I decided to meet my friends (in the past), so I called them and arranged our dinner. We use the Present Continuous tense for fixed arrangements in the near future.
Are you meeting anyone tonight? Tomorrow? Anyway, I hope you will have a great time!
Have you seen my keys? I want to go meet my friends but I can't find my keys. Oh..not again!
I'm always losing my keys!
Well, if you find them, tell me please.
You see, I'm frustrated with myself. I lose my keys often, and I think this happens with a greater frequency than it should, which frustrates me. We use the Present Continuous tense with “always” to show frustration at things which happen too often, in our opinion.
Tell me please, are you always oversleeping? Are you always losing something?
And just another reminder – we don't use the Present Continuous tense with state verbs, such as “know”, “understand”, “love” and so on. What tense can we use with these verbs? Yay! The Present Simple tense!
Sorry guys, I have to run. My friends (whom I'm meeting in a couple of minutes) are already waiting for me.
Hope to hear from you soon!
Enjoy the rest of this wonderful day!