English Grammar | Present Continuous (I am Doing)

19 Mar
present-continuous

present-continuous

Study this example situation:

Sarah is in her car. She is on her way to work.
She is driving to work.

This means: she is driving now, at the time of speaking.
The action is not finished.

Am/is/are+ -ing is the present continuous:

I am                            (=I’m)               | driving
he/she/it is             (=he’s etc.)      | working
we/you/they are  (=we’re etc.)   | doing etc.

I am doing something= I’m in the middle of doing it; I’ve started doing it and I haven’t finished:

  •  Please don’t make so much noise. I’m trying to work. (not I try)
  • ‘Where’s Mark?’ ‘He’s having a shower.’ (not He has a shower)
  • Let’s go out now. lt isn’t raining any more. (not lt doesn’t rain)
  • (at a party) Hi, jane. Are you enjoying the party? (not Do you enjoy)
  • What’s all that noise? What’s going on? (=What’s happening?}

Sometimes the action is not happening at the time of speaking. For example:

Steve is talking to a friend on the phone. He says:

“I’m reading a really good book at the moment. It’s about a man who …”

Steve is not reading the book at the time of speaking.
He means that he has started it, but has not fi nished it yet.
He is in the middle of reading it.

Some more examples:

  • Kate wants to work in Italy, so she’s Learning Italian. (but perhaps she isn’t learning Italian at the time of speaking)
  • Some friends of mine are building their own house. They hope to finish it next summer.

You can use the present continuous with today / this week / this year etc. (periods around now}:

  •  A : You‘re working hard today. (not You work hard today)
    B  : Yes, I have a lot to do.
  • The company I work for isn’t doing so well this year.

We use the present continuous when we talk about changes happening around now, especially with these verbs:

get | change | become | increase | rise | fall | grow | improve | begin | start

  • Is your English getting better? (not Does your English get better)
  • The population of the world is increasing very fast. (not increases)
  • At first I didn’t like my job, but I‘m beginning to enjoy it now. (not I begin)

EXERCISE

1.1 Complete the conversations.

A: I saw Brian a few days ago.
B: Oh, did you? …What’s he doing .. these days? (what / he / do)
A: He’s at university.
B: ………………………………? (what / he / study)
A: Psychology.
B: ….. …… . it? (he / enjoy)
A: Yes, he says it’s a very good course.

X: Hi, Nicola. How ……… . ………… . …….. ? (your new job / go)
Y: Not bad. lt wasn’t so good at first, but. .. .. ……….. ….. .. better now.(it / get)
X: What about Daniel? Is he OK?
Y: Yes, but .. .. …. .. … …. . . ….. . his work right now. (he / not / enjoy).
He’s been in the same job for a long time and …………… to get boredwith it. (he / begin)

1.2 Put the verb into the correct form, positive (I’m doing etc.) or negative (I’m not doing etc.).

1 Please don’t make so much noise… I’m trying …. (I / try) to work.
2 Let’s go out now…….It isn’t raining ….. (it / rain) any more.
3 You can turn off t he radio…………………….. (I / listen) to it.
4 Kate phoned me last night. She’s on holiday in France………………………….. (she / have)a great time and doesn’t want to come back.
5 I want to lose weight, so this week …………. . . ……. ………. .. ….. (I / eat) lunch.
6 Andrew has just started evening classes. . ……………….. …….. . .. (he / learn) Japanese
7 Paul and Sally have had an argument…….. ………………… . . ….. . …………. ….. …. . …….. (they / speak) to each other.
8 . ………… …. (I / get) tired. I need a rest.
9 Tim ……. . .. ……………… (work) today. He’s taken the day off.
10 ……………………….. (I / look) for Sophie. Do you know where she is?

1.3 Complete the sentences using the following verbs:

start | get | increase | change | rise

1 The population of the world … is increasing … very fast.
2 The world ……… . …………………………………………. . Things never stay the same.
3 The situation is already bad and it …. …. ….. . ……………………. …. worse.
4 The cost of living ….. ……….. …………… . Every year things are more expensive.
5 The weather .. . ….. to improve. The rain has stopped, and the wind isn’t as strong.

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