The Present Continuous is mainly used to express the idea that something is happening at the moment of speaking. Another use of the tense is to talk about what we are planning to do. There are also other uses, listed below.
- Present actions
- Temporary actions
- Longer actions in progress
- Future (personal) arrangements and plans
- Irritation over something or somebody in the present
USE 1: Present Actions
Use the Present Continuous tense to talk about actions happening at the moment of speaking.
- He is eating a dinner.
- Mary is talking with her friend.
- They are swimming.
USE 2: Temporary Actions
This tense is also used for activities continuing for only a limited period of time.
- I'm riding a bike to get to work because my car is broken. (It will soon be repaired)
- They are not talking with each other after the last argument. (They will soon make up)
USE 3: Longer Actions in Progress
We also use the Present Continuous when we are in a middle of doing something time-consuming (i.e. something that takes time to complete). An example of such an activity is writing a book, saving money or studying for an exam.
- They are working hard to earn money.
- I am training to become a professional footballer.
- Mike is studying hard to become a doctor.
- Elizabeth is currently writing a children's book titled I am the World.