Let's learn the forms of the present continuous including the affirmative, negative, question and short forms. There are also lots of examples to help make everything very clear. Before we get started, please note that this is also often called the present progressive tense.
[Note: Click here to learn how to use this tense.]
To form the present continuous, we use the am / is / are form of the verb "to be" plus the infinitive of the verb plus an -ing ending. The form is the same for each subject.
Please note as shown above that you can contract the subject and verb if you want to:
I am = I'm he is = he's she is = she's it is = it's we are = we're they are = they're
To make the tense negative add "not" before the verb + -ing.
You can also use contractions with the negative form:
Questions that can be answered with "yes" or "no" answers are formed by inverting the subject and correct form of the verb "be" (am / is / are). (Inverting simply means we change the order of the subject and verb form:)
Affirmative statement: I am coming. (the subject "I" is first, then the verb form "am")
Affirmative question: Am I coming? (to make a question, the verb form "am" comes first then the subject "I").
We can also use contractions for the following wh- questions:
who is = who's what is = what's where is = where's when is = when's
why is = why's how is = how's
Be careful as there are also some spelling changes:
For verbs that end with one -e, drop the -e and add -ing. Note that these verbs the -e sound at the end is silent. (e.g., believe, bake, take, love).
With verbs ending with a long -e sound, add -ing as normal:
If the verb has one syllable and ends with CVC (a consonant + vowel + consonant), we double the final consonant before adding the -ing ending:
Notice these verbs end in CVC (consonant vowel consonant). However, do not double the consonant for verbs that end in w, x or y.
When verbs ending in ending in CVC (consonant vowel consonant) have two or more syllables, double the last consonant if the last syllable is stressed.
However, when the last syllable is not stressed, just add -ing as usual.
If a verb ends in -ie change 'ie' to 'y' then add -ing.
Check back for exercises that will help you practice the present continuous tense in its different forms.
Now that you've learned how to form the present continuous, click here to learn how to use it.
Present Continuous Form