English Grammar – Present Continuous – positive, Negative, Question

The present continuous is a verb tense which is used to show that an ongoing action is happening now, either at the moment of speech or now in a larger sense. This tense can also be used to show that an action is going to take place in the near future. Read on for detailed descriptions, examples, and exercises.

Present Continuous – Positive Form

When to use present continuous?

Positive Form

Subject + am/is/are + [Verb+ing] + complement.

Present Continuous Positive Form USE

We use present continuous to talk about:

When Not to Use Present Continuous Tense

We cannot use it to talk about any permanent actions, or activities.

There are certain verbs that cannot be used in the present continuous tense. The following verbs are non-continuous:

  • Communication: agree, promise, surprise
  • Feelings: like, love, hate.  (don’t say: liking or loving or hating)
  • Senses: hear, see, smell, taste
  • Thinking: believe, know, understand

For example:

Don’t say: I’m Liking, I’m hating, I’m understanding, I’m knowing. ….. etc.

All these examples are wrong, so please don’t use them.

Stative Verbs:

Wrong sentenceCorrect Sentence
I am understanding EnglishI understand English
We are liking this showWe like this show.
They are having a carThey have a car

Contractions with Present Continuous

  • I am
  • You are
  • We are
  • They are
  • He is
  • She is
  • It is
  • I’m.
  • you’re.
  • we’re.
  • they’re.
  • he’s.
  • she’s.
  • it’s.

Spelling of Present Continuous Verbs:

With all of the verbs, you need to add “ing”. And to most of the verbs, that’s all you need to do.

Just need to add “ing”.   For example:

Eat = eating | walk = walking | do = doing | learn = learning | watch = watching | talk = talking.


with some verbs you need to make a few small other changes for verbs ending in: “ie, ye, i, ee”, So please watch this video , to learn how to add ing to those verbs.

Add ing to verbs that end in ie, ye, i, ee

Positive Form Examples

Examples of Near Future Plans or Events

Negative Form

Subject + am/is/are + Not + [Verb+ing] + complement.

Negative Form Use:

We use present continuous, in its negative form, to deny:

  1. Actions happening at the moment of speaking.
  2. Actions that are planned for the future.
  3. Changes and tendencies.
  4. Consistency of the events.
  5. Temporary activities (that will finish in the future);

Contractions – Negative Form

  • I am not = I’m not.
  • You are not. = you’re not. Or, you aren’t.
  • We are not. = we’re not. Or, we aren’t
  • They are not. = they’re not. Or, they aren’t.
  • He is not. = he’s not. Or, he isn’t.
  • She is not. = she’s not. Or, she isn’t.
  • It is not. = It’s not. Or, It isn’t.

Negative Form EXAMPLES

Present Continuous – Questions Form

Am/is/are + subject + [verb + ing] + complement + ?

Questions Form Use:

We use present continuous questions to ask about:

  1. Things happening now. Are you going to cinema?
  2. Temporary activities. Are you studying English?
  3. Situations of change. Is the weather in your country getting hotter?
  4. Future arrangements. Are you going to the party on Friday?

Questions Form Examples:

  1. Are you studying? Yes, I am. I’m studying present continuous.
  2. Are they going to the meeting? No, they aren’t.
  3. Is he working late? No, he isn’t.
  4. Are you reading a book right now? No, I’m not. I’m doing my homework.
  5. Is he speaking on the phone with your teacher? Yes, he is.
  6. Is the dog eating his food now? No, It’s not. It’s sleeping.
  7. Is Peter playing football? Yes, he is.
  8. Are we studying present simple? No, we aren’t. we’re studying present continuous.
  9. Are we studying present continuous? Yes, we are.
  10. Is Mary walking to school? Yes, she is.
  11. Is Sally going to India next week? No, she’s not.
  12. Is the train stopping? No, It’s not.
  13. Is our teacher coming to class? Yes, she is.
  14. Is she going out to night? No, she isn’t.