Published On: April 1, 2012

Lesson Four — Verb Tenses: Present Continuous

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We use the Present Continuous verb tense (also known as the Present Progressive) to express the idea that something is happening now, at this very moment. In English, now can mean: this second, today, this month, this year, this century, and so on. Sometimes, we use the Present Continuous to say that we are in the process of doing a longer action which is in progress. This verb tense is not to be confused with the Simple Present, which is used for habitual or repeated actions.

Examples: You are studying English .

Are you studying English?

You are not studying English.

(All of these sentences can be said while having a drink with a friend.)

  • am studying to become a teacher.
  • am not studying to become a dentist.
  • am reading the book Room.
  • am not reading any books right now.
  • Are you working on any special projects at work?
  • Aren’t you teaching at the University now?

Complete the sentences with the Present Continuous using the verbs in brackets:

Answers will be provided at the end of the exercise.

  1. John (read) __________________________ a book now.
  2. What (you do) ___________________________ tonight?

  3. Jack and Peter (work) ___________________ late today.

  4. Silvia (not listen) ________________________ to music.

  5. Maria (sit) ___________________________ next to Paul.

  6. How many other students (you study) ___________with?

  7. The phone (not ring) ___________________________.

  8. The children (watch) _________________________their favorite show on TV.

  9. I need to go to the doctor, I (feel) _______________very well.

10.The students (do) _________________ their homework.

Answers: 1(is reading) 2(are you doing) 3(are working)4(is not listening) 5(is sitting) 6(are you studying) 7(is not ringing) 8(are watching) 9( am not feeling) 10(are doing).

 

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These exercises were written by Luiza Moura, who has a Master’s Degree in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) from UFPR. She is a private English instructor in Curitiba and can be contacted at www.luizamoura.com.br.

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