Study the example situations below:

Sarah is in her kitchen. She is cooking lunch.

This means she is cooking now, at the time of speaking.


Peter is on holiday In Italy. He is visiting the Colosseum.

Mary wants to visit China which is why she is learning Chinese.

Vicky is learning to cook this week.

I am taking yoga classes this month.


We use the Present Continuous for actions happening at the moment of speaking (still in progress) or activities happening for a limited period of time.

The Present Continuous is used with periods around now such as: now, today, this week / month / year, etc.

It is formed with the present tense of the verb To be + base verb + ing.

I am / You are / He is / She is / It is / We are / They are painting the ceiling.

To ask a question, we simply inverse the subject of the sentence with the auxiliary verb To be.

Am I / Are you / Is he / Is she / Are we / Are they painting the ceiling?

To form a negative sentence we add the particle not after to be.

I am not / You are not / He is not / She is not / We are not / They are not painting the ceiling.

Is not = isn’t

Are not = aren’t


The Present Continuous Tense can be use for changes happening around now, especially with these verbs: get, change, become, increase, rise, fall, grow, improve, begin, start.

Are you getting better at using the computer?

She is beginning to understand German.