The Present Continuous or Present Progressive tense is a very commonly used verb tense in English grammar that describes on-going actions at the time of speaking and happening right now, stressing that the doer is in the middle of the activity and hasn’t finished yet (the action is incomplete). The Present Continuous tense is also used to describe activities generally in progress (not at the moment). Another use of the tense is to talk about temporary actions or future plans.
Generally, the Present Continuous or Present Progressive tense is used in the following situation
1) actions happening at the moment of speaking
- Steve is reading a book now.
- Aliceis talking with his friend now
- She is going toShanghaion Sunday.
2) fixed plan in the near future
3) temporary actions
- His father is working inRomethis month. (He will be back after this month)
- They are not talking with each other after the last argument. Temporary Action (They will soon make up)
4) actions happening around the moment of speaking (longer actions)
- My son is preparing for his exams.
- I am training to become a professional footballer.
5) Present Progressive tense is also used for expressing tendencies or trends.
- More and more people are using their handphones to listen to music.
- Our country is getting richer.
6) Present Progressive tense is also used to express irritation or anger over somebody or something in the present with adverbs such as: always, continually or contantly.
- John is always coming late.
- Ali is always asking stupid questions!
1) Words like “always,” “constantly,” or “continuously” are often used with the present progressive tense to describe actions that are continually repeated, while words like “right now” or “at the moment”, “Look!” “Listen!” often indicate that an action is currently in progress
2) If the action occurs regularly and not only now/today/this month, you need the Present Simple tense (I clean the house once a week.)
Ron usually rides his bike to work, but today he is taking a bus.
[ rides is in the Present Simple because it refers to a regular habit, is taking is in the Present Progressive because it refers to a one-time change in the routine, pertaining only to today]
3) Stative verbs ( appear, realize, love, sound) are more commonly used with simple tenses rather than with progressive tenses.