Grammar 3-03 | High Beginner 3

Present Continuous

Listen to four short conversations using the present simple tense.

Conversation 1

Man: Where are you?
Woman: I am working inside. I am writing a letter to my friend. I am telling him about my life and my new job.
Man: Are you using the computer?
Woman: I am not using the computer because I like to hand write letters. My hand is getting tired though.

Conversation 2

Man: Where is Mary?
Woman: Mary is cooking in the kitchen. She is chopping up some vegetables because she is making a vegetable soup.
Man: How is she making it?
Woman: She is reading a recipe and following the instructions inside. She is enjoying herself.

Conversation 3

Man: What is Bob doing?
Woman: Bob is working on his car. He is giving it a tune up. He is changing the oil and checking all the parts of the cars.
Man: But, he is not working? He is just standing there!
Woman: He is taking his time because he wants to do the job right. He is listening to the radio as he works.

Conversation 4

Man: Where are the twins?
Woman: They are playing outside. They are playing soccer with their friends. They are using the front lawn as a soccer pitch.
Man: Are they having fun?
Woman: They are having a lot of fun. They are exercising so they are burning lots of energy. I think they are trying to lose weight.

Present Continuous

Point 1: We use the present continuous for actions that start and finish within a timeframe. We often say the action is happenign now.
  1. What are you doing?
  2. I'm calling my friend. (The action will stop soon)
  3. What are you watching on TV?
  4. I'm watching a documentary about the Olympics.
Point 2: We use the present simple tense for an action that is repeating or ongoing. We use the present continuous if the action will end at some time.
  1. I live in New York.
  2. I'm living in New York at the moment. (I'll move oneday)
  3. I work a lot.
  4. I'm working a lot these days. (I will work less soon.)
Point 3: In fast spoken English, the be verbs are contracted and the /g/ in the /-ing/ is ommited.
  1. I am having a good time.
  2. I'm havin' a good time.
  3. She is making a big mistake.
  4. She's makin' a big mistake.
  5. He is not coming to the party.
  6. He isn't comin' to the party.
Point 4: We often use the present continuous for plans in the future, especially if the action is known or anticipated by other people.
  • Are you coming to the party tomorrow night?
  • Yes, but I'm working tomorrow, so I might be late.
  • Is anyone coming with you?
  • Yes, I'm bringing my friend.
Answer the following questions about the interview.