El “Present Continuous” (Presente Continuo) lo utilizamos cuando queremos hablar de acciones que están ocurriendo “ahora” o, en un tiempo cercano a “ahora” o, que no han terminado.
Por ejemplo: Estoy comiendo (I’m eating) o, estoy leyendo un libro (I’m reading a book). En este último caso, te refieres a una acción inacabada, no a que estás leyendo el libro en el momento en que hablas.

Estructura: Sujeto + “to be” en presente + el verbo principal acabado en “ing”.

Ejemplo 1: I am (I’m) working . Yo estoy trabajando.

Ejemplo 2: She is (She’s)studying . Ella está estudiando.

Ejemplo 3. It is (It’s) working . Está funcionando.

Ejemplo 4: They are (They’re) looking . Ellos/Ellas están mirando.

Problemas que presenta el Present Continuous: En teoría es un tiempo muy sencillo de dominar. No obstante, dado que a veces en español utilizamos el “Presente” para hablar de algo que ocurre en el momento en que hablamos, en inglés cometemos el error de utilizar el “Presente” cuando deberíamos utilizar el “Present Continuous”.

Por ejemplo, decimos: “She comes” , cuando deberíamos decir: “She’s coming” . (Ella viene). Es verdad que en inglés hay algunos verbos que no se conjugan en “Present Continuous”, por ejemplo, “want”  (querer), pero son pocos.

Recuerda: Para hablar de algo que está ocurriendo en el mismo momento en el que hablas, debes utilizar en inglés el “Present Continuous”, no el tiempo “Simple Present Tense” Por ejemplo: “It’s raining now.”  (Ahora llueve). No:”It rains now.”

¿Cómo se pregunta con el “Present Continuous”?

Estructura preguntas: Verbo + sujeto + verbo principal terminado en “ing”+?

Ejemplo: Is she working?  ¿Está ella trabajando

¿Cómo se niega con el “Present Continuous?

Estructura negación: Sujeto + verbo “to be” en presente + not + verbo principal terminado en “ing”.

Ejemplo: She is not (isn´t)working . Ella no está trabajando.
Repaso de las estructuras:

Positivo Sujeto+ Verbo”to be” en presente+VP terminado en “ing”. You are (You’re)working.
Negativo Sujeto + Verbo “to be”en presente +not+VP terminado en“ing”. You are not (aren’t) working.
Pregunta Verbo “to be” en presente+ Sujeto+ VP terminado en “ing”+?Are you working?

FORM[am/is/are + present participle]


  • You are watching TV.
  • Are you watching TV?
  • You are not watching TV.  

USE 1 Now

 Use the Present Continuous with Normal Verbs to express the idea that something is happening now, at this very moment. It can also be used to show that something is not happening now.


  • You are learning English now.
  • You are not swimming now.
  • Are you sleeping?
  • I am sitting.
  • I am not standing.
  • Is he sitting or standing?
  • They are reading their books.
  • They are not watching television.
  • What are you doing?
  • Why aren’t you doing your homework?

USE 2 Longer Actions in Progress Now


In English, “now” can mean: this second, today, this month, this year, this century, and so on. Sometimes, we use the Present Continuous 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: (All of these sentences can be said while eating dinner in a restaurant.)

  • I am studying to become a doctor.
  • I am not studying to become a dentist.
  • I am reading the book Tom Sawyer.
  • I am not reading any books right now.
  • Are you working on any special projects at work?
  • Aren’t you teaching at the university now?

USE 3 Near Future


Sometimes, speakers use the Present Continuous to indicate that something will or will not happen in the near future.


  • I am meeting some friends after work.
  • I am not going to the party tonight.
  • Is he visiting his parents next weekend?
  • Isn’t he coming with us tonight?

USE 4 Repetition and Irritation with “Always”

The Present Continuous 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. Remember to put the words “always” or “constantly” between “be” and “verb+ing.”


  • She is always coming to class late.
  • He is constantly talking. I wish he would shut up.
  • I don’t like them because they are always complaining.

REMEMBER Non-Continuous Verbs/ Mixed Verbs

It is important to remember that Non-Continuous Verbs cannot be used in any continuous tenses. Also, certain non-continuous meanings for Mixed Verbs cannot be used in continuous tenses. Instead of using Present Continuous with these verbs, you must use Simple Present.


  • She is loving this chocolate ice cream. Not Correct
  • She loves this chocolate ice cream. Correct


The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc.


  • You are still watching TV.
  • Are you still watching TV?



  • Right now, Tom is writing the letter. Active
  • Right now, the letter is being written by Tom. PassiveACTIVITY


Simple Present / Present Continuous

Using the words in parentheses, complete the text below with the appropriate tenses,
1. Every Monday, Sally (drive)_________ her kids to football practice.
2. Usually, I (work) ______as a secretary at ABT, but this summer I (study)______ French at a language school in Paris. That is why I am in Paris.

3. Shhhhh! Be quiet! John (sleep)________ .

4. Don’t forget to take your umbrella. It (rain)________ .

5. I hate living in Seattle because it (rain, always)_________ .

6. I’m sorry I can’t hear what you (say)______ because everybody (talk)______ so loudly.

7. Justin (write, currently)_____________ a book about his adventures in Tibet. I hope he can find a good publisher when he is finished.

8. Jim: Do you want to come over for dinner tonight?
Denise: Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t. I (go)_______ to a movie tonight with some friends.

9. The business cards (be, normally )________ printed by a company in New York. Their prices (be) ______inexpensive, yet the quality of their work is quite good.

10. This delicious chocolate (be)_________ made by a small chocolatier in Zurich, Switzerland.


May 21, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Engaging site – Hope to definitely visit soon:D

    Comment by HamAvella | May 20, 2009 | Reply

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