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Present Continuous / Present Progressive Tense


The basic structure of Present Continuous is The present form of To Be (IS/AM/ARE) + V-ing

Present Continuous/Present Progressive is used to say that at the moment we are speaking, a person is in the middle of a process of doing something / activity or that something is happening and not finished yet
e.g:

-        Please be quiet. I am trying to concentrate
-        Kevin is in the kitchen. He is cooking the dinner
-        Sarah is not cooking in the kitchen. She is washing the dish
-        I am not hiding from you
-        Are you studying English?
-        Is Sarah sleeping?  

-         John: Where is Andrew? 
      Jane : He is watching TV
-     John and Jane are studying English now (John and Jane began the activity of study a few minutes ago, now they are still studying and not finished yet)


We can also use Present Continuous although the activity is not happening at the moment we are speaking:
-     Sarah meets Andrew at the school canteen then she tells Andrew “I want to continue my study in Japan so I’m learning Japanese now”
-     Brian is writing a novel. He’ll let you be the first to read when he has finished it (At the time this sentence is spoken, Brian is not writing something. The speaker intend to say that Brian has started to write the novel and has not finished yet.  Maybe at the time of speaking Brian is studying in the classroom or perhaps he is doing something else. For a situation like this we also can use Present Continuous)

We use Present Continuous when we talk about somethings that happen in the recent period of time (for example: today/this week/this evening etc.) and also to talk about something that is changing:
-      I’m working hard today. I have a lot to do
-      Is Andrew working this week?  
-      The quality of this company’s service is improving very fast
-      I can’t go to work now. My fever is getting worse  (Something about his illness is changing, that is; it is getting worse)

There are some verbs known as nonprogressive verb; verbs which are not used in the progressive / continuous tense (-ing form). These verbs describe a condition, not descibe an activity


NONPROGRESSIVE VERBS
Want
Need
Prefer
Imagine
Suppose
Feel
Understand
Realise
Know
Hate
Fear
Envy
Hear
Seem
Cost
Exist
Contain
Doubt
Believe
Mind
Appreciate
Forget
Remember
Like
Recognise
Owe
Care
Love
Mean
Think#
Have#
See#
Be#
Appear#
Weigh#
Taste#
Look#
Smell#
Feel#


Verbs verbs with ‘#’ can be used as well as progressive verb (Ving) with different meaning.

See the table below, The use the verbs in the form of Progressive vs Nonprogressive


NONPROGRESSIVE
PROGRESSIVE
She thinks the food is delicious
She is thinking about the work plan
A bag doesn’t weigh much
I’m weighing the apples
The kids appear to be happy
I’m appearing on the stage nervously
She looks happy
She’s looking at a computer screen
The food smells delicious
He’s smelling the food
Sarah is lazy
Sarah is being lazy

-     Sarah is lazy = Lazy already becomes the character/personality of Sarah
-     Sarah is being lazy = Right now, at the time of speaking, Sarah is being lazy (Lazy is not Sarah's personality)

The words Feel and Look can be used in the form of present simple as well as present continous when how a person feels or how a person looks like:
-     You look good
-     You are looking good
-     I feel better now 
-     I’m feeling better now