18th August 2022
A Guide to the Present Progressive Tense
The present progressive tense is a form of the present tense. It’s a fairly common English tense that you’ll need to know how to use properly in your writing, but it can be tricky to get your head around.
Below, we’ll explore when to use the present progressive tense and how to form it correctly.
When to Use the Present Progressive Tense
The present progressive tense is used to talk about ongoing actions, or actions that are currently taking place. You can think of these as actions that are progressing.
The present progressive can be used to describe an ongoing action in the present:
I am singing.
They are dancing.
The sun is shining.
The bus is leaving.
Or it can be used to describe a planned action that will take place in the future:
The cat is going to the vet next Tuesday.
We are moving house in March.
The bus is leaving in 10 minutes.
The kids are having pizza for dinner.
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Finally, the present progressive can be used to describe an action that is frequent or habitual:
The baby is always crying.
Writers are always looking for ways to improve.
How to Form the Present Progressive Tense
The present progressive tense is formed of two parts:
- A form of the verb “to be” (“am,” “is,” or “are”)
- The present participle of the action verb (which ends in “-ing”)
Here’s what that looks like with the present participle of the action verb “to go” combined with various subjects:
Subject + form of “to be” + [verb]ing
I am going.
She is going.
The dogs are going.
To form a negative sentence in the present progressive tense, add “not” between the form of “to be” and the present participle:
I am not going.
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