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.
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)
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…