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Present continuous

affirmative, negative and interrogative forms


Did you notice that the email that Juliet sent was written in present continuous?


At the end of this topic you will differentiate information in present continuous in affirmative, negative and interrogative to express actions in progress, temporary situations and future arrangements related to extreme sports.

What are you doing?                        
What is she doing this week?
                  What are we doing next Sunday?

Present continuous tense is used to express different actions, do you remember which ones?

Of course! Actions that are in progress, temporary situations and future arrangements.

Read the following information:

Present continuous

Actions in progress, temporary situations and future arrangements

Navaza, M. (2012). Cursos surf 3-08-2012 [photo].
Retrieved 23/03/17 from http://bit.ly/2pm1lGI

Gehm, M. (2009). 20090809 03 mini fly out [photo].
Retrieved 23/03/2017 from http://bit.ly/2otUOWa

Scott. (2007). Motocross [photo].
Retrieved 23/03/17 from http://bit.ly/2oc7eWB

Actions in progress

The present continuous is used to express an action in progress at the moment of speaking. To emphasize this you often use words like: now, at the moment, right now.

Look at the examples:

Pronouns Affirmative Negative
I am surfing now. am not surfing now.
are surfing now. aren't surfing now.
is surfing now. isn't surfing now.
Auxiliary to be Interrogative
Are you surfing now?
we surfing now?
they surfing now?
Is he surfing now?
she surfing now?
it surfing now?

Temporary situations

The present continuous is also used to talk about a temporary situation.

Susan is a student, but she's practicing some free diving during the holidays.

This week we are skateboarding.

Future arrangements

The present continuous is used to describe a planned future arrangement.

Tom’s doing some motocross practice tomorrow.

They’re practicing some rafting next Saturday morning.


Don’t forget also the spelling rules.

Infinitive -ing form Spelling
cook cooking add –ing
study studying add –ing
live living cut the final e and add –ing
run running double the final consonant and add –ing

Remember that to form the Present Continuous tense you have to put verb To Be as an auxiliary verb + main verb with –ing.

Exercise 1:

Actions in progress, temporary situations or future arrangements?

It is time to practice the content you have gone through. In this exercise you will have to identify the use of the present continuous in each situation. This exercise is to practice, so you can take it as many times as you want.

Choose the right option for each sentence. You can know your score at the end of the exercise.


Activity 1

Non-traditional sports: X-treme sports

We use the present continuous tense to talk about actions in progress, temporary actions and future arrangements, so in this activity you will have to read a text about extreme sports, then you will have to analyze the content to answer some sentences, and finally you will have to write sentences in present continuous tense.

First, read the text about X-treme sports, then do the activity.

Now, you will have to write sentences using the present continuous tense.


Activity 3

Telephone conversation

Do you remember Juliet and Sophie? Juliet sent an email to Sophie telling her about her activities at York Valley Campsite, and you also remember that she used Present Continuous tense to talk about actions in progress, temporary situations and future arrangements. Well, now you will listen to a telephone conversation between Juliet and Sophie talking about extreme sports. You can repeat the audio several times.

Press the play button to listen the conversation.

According to the audio, choose the right moment (adverbial time) to the corresponding activity. You can know your score at the end of the exercise.

Jeff. (2017). Dive [photo].
Retrieved 20/04/17 from http://bit.ly/2ou3GLj


Activity 4

Vacations and extreme sports

Now let’s imagine that you are on vacation in a touristic attraction where some extreme sports can be practiced.

In this activity you will put into practice the present continuous tense. You have to write an e-mail to a friend or relative telling him or her where you are, what you are doing at the moment, what you are doing for the five following days and finally what you are doing next weekend.

Write an email to a friend considering the following points:

Make sure it has the characteristics mentioned in the checklist which will help you to self-evalute. Here you have an example to compare it to your writing.

Sánchez, M. (2008). Saliendo de viaje [photo].
Retrieved 20/04/17 from http://bit.ly/2oxNYxX


Activity 5

What about you?

As you have reviewed, you use the present continuous to talk about actions that are in progress, temporary situations and future arrangements. Now it’s your turn to practice the tense. This is what you have to do:

First, you will listen to Juliet talking about kitesurfing, one of her favorite extreme sports. She will mention where she is, why she is there, she will give as many details about kitesurfing, and when is she planning to practice it.

Press the kitesurfing image to listen to Juliet.

Now, you have to prepare a short speech about one extreme sport that you choose. The sport that you choose has to be different from all the sports Juliet and Sophie have mentioned during the unit. Your speech has to be 1 to 2 minutes talking.

First, check the aspects that are described in the rubric. Then, to have a self-evaluaction compare your audio to this example.

dimitrisvetsikas1963. (2016). kite [photo].
Retrieved 20/04/17 from http://bit.ly/2q75c6R


Exercise 1

Extreme sports... who is doing what?

You have reviewed the structure and use of the present continuous. In the following exercise you will check your understanding about this tense.

Exercise 2

When is it happening?

Now you will have to identify if the following statements express actions in progress, temporary situations or future arrangements.


Basic references

• Alexander, L.G. (1988). Longman English Grammar. United Kingdom: Longman.
• Latham-Koening, C. et al. (2012). English File Pre-Intermediate Teacher’s Book. United Kingdom: Oxford [3rd ed.]
• Soars, L., Soars, J., Maris, A. (2014). New Headway Intermediate Teacher’s Book. United Kingdom: Oxford. [4th ed.]

Complementary references

• Murphy, R. (1994). English Grammar In Use. [2nd ed.] United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
• Schrampfer, B. (2007). Understanding and Using English Grammar. USA: Pearson. [3rd ed.] U.S.A
• Thomson, A.J., Martinet, A.V. (1986). A Practical English Grammar. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. [4th ed.]