PRESENT CONTINUOUS / PROGRESSIVE TENSE – form and use

USE PRESENT CONTINUOUS / PROGRESSIVE FOR:

  • Unfinished or ongoing actions in PresentI’m reading a book.
  • Also used to talk about habits we find annoying – He’s always biting his nails.
  • Planned Future Events (personal future plans) – I’m going to Rome next Friday.

FORM

Auxiliary ‘to be’ plus bare infinitive +  ‘ing’ form of verb

Notes

Beware of the list of verbs that cannot be used in the Present Continuous / Progressive tense.  Verbs such as know or love refer to permanent states of being (at least in the English language).  You therefore cannot say, “I am knowing the book” as you either know the book or don’t.  Similarly, ‘I’m loving it’, McDonald’s popular slogan,  is technically incorrect.  You either love something or someone or you don’t.  In English you cannot be in the process of loving something or knowing something (in these cases, you fall in love or learn something).

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