Continuous verb forms in English
How we use English verb forms (tenses) is essential to developing good communication in English.
I want to give the basic concepts of how these grammatical forms are used by native English speakers.
All continuous verb forms (sometimes called progressive or durative)
and their Passive forms:
- Present Continuous Present Continuous Passive
- Past Continuous Past Continuous Passive
- Present Perfect Continuous Present Perfect Continuous Passive
- Past Perfect Continuous Past Perfect Continuous Passive
- Future Continuous Future Continuous Passive
- Future Perfect Continuous Future Perfect Continuous Passive
are usually concerned with an action that is taking place at a certain moment in time. We put more emphasis on the action itself rather than if it is completed or not.
The Present Continuous
for example tells us about something that is temporary at a certain moment that includes now.
(Note: it is also used to talk about an arrangement for the future)
- I am writing this article about Continuous verb forms at the moment
- It is raining a little but the sun is shining.
- The people outside are talking about yesterday’s football match
- Leonard is an architect, he works in a big office in London
- This month he is working in Paris, he is supervising a new construction.
Both of the sentences above (1 and 2) are correct at the same time. In (1) we use the Present Simple to explain Leonard’s normal, habitual situation. In (2) we use the Present Continuous to explain a temporary situation. He is in Paris but his permanent office is in London