Present continuous is for verbs that are happening now or near the time of speaking. The verb has started but has not finished yet.
A: “Let’s call Kevin!”
A: “Where are your children?”
B: “They are upstairs getting ready for bed.” = My children are in the middle of changing into their pajamas and brushing their teeth before they go to bed.
“With the Internet, the world is becoming very small.”“It’s raining, could you please close the window?” = Rain is falling now. The rain has started falling but it hasn’t stopped.
We use NOT with the present continuous to show something isn’t happening at the time of speaking.
“My teacher is yelling at me because I don’t pay attention in class, but I’m not listening.”
We can also use the present continuous tense if an action has started but not yet finished, even if the action is not happening at the time of speaking.
Please look at the following examples.
~ Dave is not studying Japanese right now but he began studying years ago and he is not finished yet.
~ Hector is at school now, but he started looking for a new apartment 2 days ago and he hasn’t found one yet. The action has not finished.
We use the present continuous tense to talk about changes that are happening.
change or become
“The weather is changing a lot. Temperatures are getting warmer all over the world.”
increase, rise, grow, decrease, fall, drop
“House prices in Toronto are rising. You should buy a house soon.”
“Japan’s population is decreasing.”
get, improve, start
“It’s getting late, time to go to bed.”
Some verbs we don’t often use the present continuous form with.
Here are a few examples:
“I don’t like that restaurant, it smells bad.”
NOT – it is smelling bad
*We can use the verb ‘TO BE’ in the present continuous with adjectives to describe how someone is being/acting/behaving now, compared to how they usually act.
“Rick is being very strange today.” = Today he is acting strange, but it is unusual for him.
“Rick is strange.” = He is usually strange, this is his regular condition.
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