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Present Continuous

PRESENT CONTINUOUS    or   PRESENT PROGRESSIVE TENSE

 

Normally,  in continuous tenses,  ‘ing’ form of the verbs,  that is, the gerund form of the verbs  are  used to show continuity,  and  the auxiliaries  that help them are the forms of ‘Be’ ( Be-forms), that is,  ‘is’, ‘am’, ‘are’, ‘was’, ‘were’.  Here, the title  Present continuous tense  says that the verbs here  are both in present tense and in continuous form.  So the auxiliaries to help the verbs here  should be the present forms of   ‘Be’,  that is,  is’, ‘am’, ‘are’..

With these facts,  we can make the pattern of  this  tense,   as  shown below,

S + ‘is’/’am’/’are’ + ‘V+ing’ + O

Here, the present forms of ‘Be’,   ‘is’, ‘am’, ‘are’,   are used to show that  the continuous verb ( V+ing/ gerund form) is continuing in the present tense itself.

 The auxiliaries  is, am, are,   are  used with V+ing ( ing form of the verb)  in accordance with the numbers of subject,  that is ‘plural’ and ‘singular’

  • When the subject is ‘singular’ ( one in number), the singular auxiliary verb  ‘is’   is used with the ‘ing’ form of the verb.

eg: ‘Thomas’ ‘is’ ‘driving’ the car. (is + drive+ing)

 Here, the subject ‘Thomas’ is  ‘singular’, so  the singular auxiliary verb ‘is’  is used with ing form of the verb ‘drive’.

 

  • When the subject is ‘plural’ ( more than one in number ), the plural auxiliary verb   ‘are’  is used with the ‘ing’ form of the verb.

eg: ‘Mathew’ and ‘Manuel’ ‘are’ ‘discussing’ the matter. ( are + discuss+ing )

Here, the subject ‘Mathew’ and ‘Manuel’ are ‘plural’ ( more than one in number),   so the plural auxiliary verb  ‘are’ is used with the ‘ing’ form of the verb ‘discuss’.

  •   When the subject is ‘ I’ , the auxiliary verb ‘am’  is used with the ‘ing’ form of the verb.

eg: I am always thinking of being proficient in English.  ( am + think+ing ). 

Here the subject is ‘ I ‘, so the auxiliary verb ‘am’  is used with the ‘ing‘  form of the verb  ‘think’.

 

As we have understood to write and identify the sentences in present continuous tense,  let’s go through the  sentences given below,  and analyse them,  to study about its uses.

  We are  studying Grammar.

   S —> We ( plural), so. (are + V+ing)

From the verb ‘studying’,  we can understand that the verb shows a continuity,   and  from the  plural auxiliary verb ‘are’,     we can say that the continuing action ‘studying’ is continuing in the present tense itself,   that means the action is continuing at present. 

So we can understand that this tense is used to denote an action that is continuing or going on at the time of speaking.

Another example,

1. I am drawing a picture

S —->’ I ‘,  so, ( am + V+ing )

2.  My father is coming next Monday.

     S —–> My father ( Singular ), so, ( is + V+ing )

 

Here, we are saying about  an action ‘come’ to  be done on ‘next Monday’,that is a ‘time in future’,  so,  It should have been told in ‘future tense’ . But it is used in present continuous tense.

The reason is that if we want to tell colloquially or unofficially about a planned action scheduled to be done in the near future, we can often tell it in present progressive tense

So it is often used to indicate a future action especially in colloquial usage.    ( unofficial)

Another  example,

We are going to Australia for a picnic next month.

S —–> We ( plural ) so, (are + V+ing)

So, let’s again remind of the uses.

1  To denote an action that is going on at the time of speaking.

 eg: They are playing Hockey.

2  Often used to denote a future action especially in colloquial usage.

eg:  The Indian Cricket Team is playing against  Australia in the coming summer.

 

The timing words of present continuous tense.

‘Now’,   ‘at present’,   ‘at the moment’,  etc…

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