Verb tensesVerbs

Present Progressive

Some people say present continuous. Some people say present progressive. The choice is yours.


am / is / are + present participle (base verb + ing)

We use the present simple tense of the auxiliary verb TO BE without TO  + present participle ()

  • I am working
  • You are talking
  • She is swimming
  • He is running
  • It is raining
  • We are walking
  • You are eating
  • They are sleeping

We use the present progressive tense

To talk about or describe something that is ongoing and happening now.

  • Tamara is driving to work. (She is in the car now and driving.)
  • What are you doing? I am watching a movie. (I am in front of my television and watching the movie now.)
  • What are the children doing? They are playing video games. (They are playing now.)
  • My father is cooking pasta. (My father is in the kitchen and he is cooking pasta now.)
  • What is your sister baking? She is baking cookies. (My sister is baking now.)

To talk about or describe something that is in progress over a period of time.

  • I am reading a good book. (I am not reading now. It will take me a week to finish the book.)
  • She is teaching this semester. (She is not teaching at this moment. She is teaching for four months.)
  • Are you studying English? (You are not studying at this moment. You are studying the whole year.)
  • They are engineers. They are working on a special project. (They are not at their desk now. It is an ongoing project.)
  • He is working in Munich this year. (He is in Munich and he works. He is not working a this moment.)
  • They are not studying medicine. They are studying English. (They are not studying at this moment.)
  • He‘s not teaching this semester. (He is not teaching now and he is on vacation this semester.)

To talk about or describe something that will happen in the future.

  • They are driving to Tokyo tomorrow.
  • I‘m not attending the conference next month.
  • They‘re flying to New York tonight.
  • She is going to summer camp in July.
  • Are you coming to the party with us on Saturday?
  • Is she attending the concert this weekend?
  • He isn’t joining us for dinner this evening.

Tip: will and going to are also used to talk about the future.

Try the present tenses quiz!

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