Present continuous: uses
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Events at the ... of speaking
Events at the time of speaking
We use the present continuous to talk about events which are in progress at the moment of speaking:
A:What time’s dinner?
B:I’m cooking now so it’ll be ready in about half an hour.She’s pressing the button but nothing is happening.
We use the present continuous to talk about temporary states which are true around the moment of speaking:
Her mother’s living with her at the moment. She’s just come out of hospital.
Who’s looking after the children while you’re here?
R...ed t...ry events
Repeated temporary events
We use the present continuous to describe actions which are repeated or regular, but which we believe to be temporary:
I’m not drinking much coffee these days. I’m trying to cut down.
She’s working a lot in London at the moment. (She doesn’t usually work in London.)
We use the present continuous to talk about a gradual change:
They’re building a new stand at the football ground.
Maria, 37, is getting better and doctors are optimistic she will make a full recovery.
Recent evidence suggests that the economic situation is improving.
R...ar un...ed events
Regular unplanned events
We often use the present continuous with words like always, constantly, continually and forever(adverbs of indefinite frequency) to describe events which are regular but not planned, and often not wanted:
My wife, she’s always throwing things out. I like to keep everything.
I’m constantly spilling things.
P...s and ar...s
Plans and arrangements
We use the present continuous to refer to the future when we talk about plans and arrangements that have already been made:
We’re moving to Cambridge in July.
Sarah isn’t taking Rory to football training later. She hasn’t got the car tonight.
Aren’t you playing tennis on Saturday?
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