Present Progressive Tense

Present progressive tense indicates continuing action, something going on now. It also can suggest that an action is going to happen in the future, especially with verbs that convey the idea of a plan or of movement form one place or condition to another.

The formula of present progressive tense :

(+) : S + to be ( is, am, are ) + Verb 1 + ( -ing ) + Obj.

(-) : S + to be ( is, am, are ) + not + Verb 1 + ( -ing ) + Obj.

(?) : To be ( is, am, are ) + S + Verb 1 + ( -ing ) + Obj.

The use of Present Progressive Tense

1. To express the activities that are happening now, at this very moment. It can also be used to show that something is not happening now. Examples :

  • You are learning English now.
  • He is not swimming now.
  • What are you doing .

2. To say that we are in the process of doing a longer action which is in progress, however, we might not be doing it at this exact second. Examples :

  • I am studying to become a doctor.
  • I am not reading any books right now.
  • Are you working on any special projects at work ?

3. To indicate that something will or will not happen in the near future. Examples :

  • I am meeting some friends after work.
  • She is not going to the party tonight.
  • Is she visiting her parents next weekend ?

4. Present progressive with words such as always or constantly, expresses the idea that something irritating or shocking often happens. Notice that the meaning is like simple present, but with negative emotion. Examples :

  • She is always coming late to the class.
  • I don’t like the because they’re always complaining.

NOTE : the placement of grammar adverbs such as always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc. is always between ‘be’ and ‘Verb 1 + [-ing]

5. To talk about a situation which is slowly changing. Examples :

  • I’m getting better at playing piano.
  • The weather is improving.

6. To express new habits or activities which are temporary. Examples :

  • He is eating a lot these days.
  • You’re smoking too much.


Active : S + to be ( is, am, are ) + Verb 1 + ( -ing ) + Obj.

Passive : Obj. + to be ( is, am, are ) + being + Verb 3 + by + S

Examples :

Active : Right now, Tom is writing the letter.

Passive : Right now, the letter is being written by Tom.


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