What is the continuous tense?
The tense, which uses verbs to express actions that are ongoing. The continuous tense also comes in Past, Present and Future forms.
PRESENT CONTINOUS TENSE:
The present continuous of any verb is composed of two parts – the present tense of the verb ‘to be’( am, is are) + the present participle of the main verb.
|Subject +||(am,is,are) +||verb +||ing|
|(am,is,are) +||subject +||verb +||ing|
I am going Am I going?
You are going Are you going?
We are going Are we going?
When someone uses the present continuous, they are thinking about something that is unfinished or incomplete
• To describe an action that is going on at this moment: You are using the Internet.
• To describe an action or event in the future, which has already been planned or prepared: We're going on holiday tomorrow.
• To describe a temporary event or situation: The weather forecast was good, but it's raining at the moment.
PAST CONTINUOUS TENSE:
|Subject +||was/were +||verb+||ing|
At 3 PM, I was having lunch.
They were talking about her when she walked into the room.
- We use the Past Continuous to talk about actions or situations that lasted for some time in the past: I was watching TV yesterday in the evening.
- The Past Continuous is often used when one action in progress was interrupted by another action in the past: I was talking with James when the telephone rang.
- We also use this tense to talk about two or more activities happening at the same. We usually use when or while to link the two sentences: I was watching TV and Barbara was reading a book. The family was eating the dinner and talking.
FUTURE CONTINUOUS TENSE:
|Subject +||will +||be +||Verb +||ing|
|Will +||Subject +||be +||Verb +||ing|
I will be taking my English language exam tomorrow.
She won't be eating dinner now.
We mainly use the Future Continuous to indicate that we will be doing something at a specified time in the future. Will you be coming home?
- The first use of the Future Continuous is to express future actions in progress: In an hour, I will be sitting in front of my TV.
- Use this tense also to make guesses about something in the present or future: He won't be coming any time soon.
- If you want to learn about somebody's intentions, you should always use the Future Continuous rather than the Present Simple: Will you be coming home before or after 10 PM?