Present Continuous Tense:- Definition, Examples, Formula & Rules

Present Continuous Tense:-

The present continuous verb form indicates that an action/condition is occurring now, often, and will continue into the future.


The Present Simple conjugates the auxiliary verb (be), are, are.

In present participle, the main verb is invariable: -ing

We insert negative sentencesNotBetween the main verb and the auxiliary verb

For question sentences, weExchangeThe subject and the auxiliary verb.

These are some examples of sentences using the Present Continuous tense.

 subjectauxiliary verb main verb 
+Iam speakingto you.
+Youare readingthis.
Sheisnotstayingin London.
?Ishe watchingTV?
?Arethey waitingfor John?

Sentence Structure & Rules

  1. Positive statements 
    [Subject + am/is/are + verb (ing) + object] 
  2. Negative statements 
    [Subject + am/is/are + not + verb (ing) + object]
  3. Question statements 
    [am/is/are subject + verb (ing) + object + ?]
  4. The short answer (yes/no) form statements 
    [yes/no + comma (,) + subject + am/is/are + not (for no type) + verb (ing) + object]

Examples/sentences of Present Continuous Tense

  1. We are singing on the stage. (positive)
  2. We are not singing on the stage. (negative)
  3. Are you singing on the stage? (question)
  4. Yes, we are dancing on the stage. (short answer)
  1. She is staring at him. (positive)
  2. She is not staring at him. (negative)
  3. Is she staring at him? (question)
  4. No, she is not staring at him. (short answer)
  1. I am feeling thirsty. (positive)
  2. I am not feeling thirsty. (negative)
  3. Am I feeling thirsty? (question)
  4. No, I am not feeling thirsty. (short answer)

Affirmative sentences in the Present Continuous

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For affirmative sentences in the continuous, weuse the subject and the appropriate form of the main verb in-ing form.


  • I am doing my work.
  • My brother is sitting on the table.
  • They are riding their bikes.

Negative sentences in the Present Continuous

We can make negative sentences in the continuous by changing the auxiliary verb “to be” from positive to negative.


  • I am not doing my work.
  • My brother is not sitting on the table. 
  • They are not riding their bikes.  

Questions in the Present Continuous

In order to ask questions in the present continuous, invert the subject with the auxiliary verb “to be”. The structure is as follows:


  • Are you doing your work?
  • Is your brother sitting on the tsble?
  • Are they riding their bikes?

Verbs NOT used in the Present Continuous

Many verbs cannot be used in Present Continuous tense. These verbs are not actions, but rather describe states or preferences. For these verbs we use the present simple. Take this example:

WRONG I’m hating you. 

CORRECTI hate you. 

WRONGHe’s loving the cake. 

CORRECTHe loves the cake. 

The Importance of Present Continuous Tense

The English grammar uses the present continuous tense most often to describe an ongoing action or unfinished task. This sentence structure is simple and can be used to show events or actions that are occurring right now, in the future or in the past.

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