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Present continuous Exercises

( Free Online English Grammar Lessons )

Read time : 4 minutes

Present Continuous Form : ( To be + verb + -ing )

In English we use the present continuous tense to talk about things that are happening right now or around now, for temporary situations and to describe changes. Another reason to use present continuous is for definite future arrangements. We usually know exactly when the arrangements are happening and they are often the type of arrangements we can write in a diary. There is a suggestion that more than one person is aware of the event, and that some preparation has already happened. In English we often use time phrases such as now, at the moment, at this time, currently, today and this week with the present continuous.

Notes for use of present continuous :

It is not possible to use state verbs in continuous forms. State verbs are generally those which relate to thoughts, senses, emotions, relationships, states of being and measurements such as like, love, hate, own, know, contain, believe and understand. Only action verbs can be used in the present continuous. 

Generally, we take the infinitive of the verb and simply add '-ing' to make the continuous form. For example;

work --> working

go --> going

cook --> cooking

study --> studying

listen --> listening

If the verb ends in 'e', we drop the 'e' before adding '-ing'. For example;

come --> coming

take --> taking

phone --> phoning

If the verb ends in a vowel + consonant, we double the last consonant. For example;

swim --> swimming

sit --> sitting

plan --> planning

If the verb has more than one syllable, we double the consonant at the end only if the last syllable is stressed. For example;

prefer --> preferring

begin --> beginning

regret --> regretting

If the last syllable of a verb is not stressed, we do not double the last consonant. For example;

visit --> visiting

happen --> happening

develop --> developing

In British English, verbs ending in 'l' double the 'l' before '-ing' whether the last syllable is stressed or not. For example;

travel --> travelling

cancel --> cancelling

If the verb ends in a 'y' or a 'w', we do not double it when we add '-ing'. For example;

stay --> staying

play --> playing

sew --> sewing

We do not double the consonant if the verb has two vowels before the last consonant. For example;

boil --> boiling

explain --> explaining

In English we also do not double the consonant if the verb ends in two consonants. For example;

help --> helping

start --> starting

The table below shows the different forms of present continuous :

Example Verb : Go
You  / We / They
He / She / It
PositiveI'm going ......'re going ......'s going ... 
NegativeI'm not going ...... aren't going ...... isn't going ...


Am I going ...?Are ... going ...?Is ... going ...?
Short answers

Yes, I am. /

No, I'm not.

Yes, ... are. /

No, ... aren't.

Yes, ... is. /

No, ... isn't.

Present Continuous Example Sentences : 

Positive Examples of Present Continuous: 

  • I'm reading a good book at the moment.
  • She's staying with us for the summer.
  • They're flying to London on Saturday.
  • We're having dinner now.
  • That dog is barking loudly.
  • The company is growing fast.

Negative Examples of Present Continuous :

  • I'm not living in Australia now.
  • He isn't studying at the moment.
  • We aren't visiting London this year.
  • She isn't working today.
  • Our profits are not increasing.

Question Examples of Present Continuous :

  • Are you going to university?
  • Is he talking on the phone?
  • Am I staying with you next week? 
  • What are we doing tomorrow?
  • Where are you currently working?

In English we also use the present continuous with 'always' to indicate the action we are describing is annoying for us because it is done too often. 

Examples of Present Continuous with Always:

  • You are always working late. (You work late too often)
  • She is always complaining. (She complains too much)
  • They are always eating sweets. (They eat too many sweets)
Present continuous example sentences
It seems I’m already running a bit late.
It's okay, I just called to ask what we are doing this evening.
Why are you smiling? Does it mean I'm taking you out for dinner?
Where are you going at this hour?
What!? Why is he doing that?
I see, the cheap ones are expiring today!
Are you looking for this bag, my friend?
Are you seriously asking me that question?
Fine, I've found the number, calling them now.
I think Pogo is getting less insecure now.
Erm, can I smoke in the room again while I'm working?
Because we are passing through a tunnel.
Oh yes, how is her pregnancy going?
Excuse me, we are trying to find this rice.
Is your friend's sister definitely coming?
Okay, since we are moving my desk back to the window side...
I guess you are not living here with your family.
How are you searching?
Yeah, I'm calling the one for 2,800 first.
We are meeting the boys at the Japanese restaurant.


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Be going to
Be going to passive
Be used to / Get used to
Defining relative clause
Echo tag
First conditional
Future continuous
Future perfect continuous
Future perfect passive
Future perfect simple
Future simple passive
Have/Get something done
Implied conditional
Indirect question
Infinitive of purpose
Mixed conditional
Modal passive
Non-defining relative clause
Past continuous
Past continuous passive
Past perfect continuous
Past perfect passive
Past perfect simple
Past simple
Past simple passive
Polite request / offer / suggestion
Present continuous
Present continuous passive
Present perfect continuous
Present perfect passive
Present perfect simple
Present simple
Present simple passive
Question tag
Reduced relative clause
Reported speech imperative
Reported speech question
Reported speech request
Reported speech statement
Second conditional
Short answer
Third conditional
Used to / would (past habit)
Was/were going to
Was/were supposed to
Would rather
Zero conditional