He is sleeping.
I am visiting grandpa in the afternoon.
You are always coming late for the meetings!
The Present Continuous is mainly used to express the idea that something is happening at the
moment of speaking. The Present Continuous also describes activities generally in progress (this
means that they don't have to take place right now). Another use of the tense is to talk about
temporary actions or future plans.
• Present actions
• Temporary actions
• Longer actions in progress
• Future (personal) arrangements and plans
• Tendencies and trends (xu h
ng, khuynh h
ng và chi u h
• Irritation (sự chọc tức; tình trạng bị làm phát cáu, tình trạng bị chọc tức phàn nàn)
USE 1: Present Actions
Most often, we use the Present Continuous tense to talk about actions happening at the moment of
He is eating a dinner.
Mary is talking with her friends.
They are swimming in the pool.
Stative (State) Verbs
There is a certain group of verbs that usually does not appear in the Continuous form. They are
called Stative (State) Verbs, and if used in the Continuous form, they have a different meaning.
I think you look pretty today! meaning: Opinion
I'm thinking of moving to San Francisco! meaning: Act of thinking
USE 2: Temporary Actions
This tense is also used for activities continuing only for a limited period of time.
- I'm riding a bike to get to work because my car is broken. Temporary Action (His car will
soon be repaired)
- They are not talking with each other after the last argument. Temporary Action (They will
soon make up)
- Mary is working at McDonald's. Temporary Action (She is working there only during the
USE 3: Longer Actions in Progress
We also use the Present Continuous when we are in the middle of doing something time-consuming
(i.e. something that takes time to complete). An example of such an activity is writing a book,
saving money or studying for an exam.
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-They are working hard to earn money.
-I am training to become a professional footballer.
-Mike is studying hard to become a doctor.
-Elizabeth is currently writing a children's book titled I am the World.
USE 4: Future (Personal) Arrangements and Plans
Sometimes we use the Present Continuous to show that something is planned and will be done in the
-I'm meeting Katie in the evening.
-He's flying to Rome in September.
-We're not going anywhere tomorrow.
USE 5: Tendencies and Trends
This tense is also used for expressing tendencies or trends.
-Our country is getting richer.
-The Internet is becoming less of a novelty.
-The Universe is expanding .
USE 6: Irritation or Anger
And the last use of this tense is to express irritation or anger over somebody or something in the
present with adverbs such as: always, continually or contantly.
-She is continually complaining about everything!
-Johny is always asking stupid questions!
-My boss is contantly critising me!
-John lives in New York.
-We play football every day.
-You are really kind.
-The meeting starts at 3 PM
The Present Simple is the most basic and common tense in the English language. Because of its
easy form, it is the best tense to start learning/teaching English tenses. It is also an interesting tense
because it can express both the present and the future. In the below list, there are 7 uses of this
tense. It's a lot, but don't worry: most of them are easy to understand.
• Facts, generalizations and universal truths (t ng quát, khái quát)
• Habits and routines
• Permanent situations
• Events that are certain to happen
• Arrangements that we can't change (e.g. timetables, official meetings)
• State verbs (e.g. be, have, suppose, know)
• Narrations (e.g. telling a joke), instructions or commentaries
Apart from the above uses, this tense is also used in:
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In sentences after when, before, till, after, as soon as. ("Before you leave, please take the
USE 1: Facts, Generalizations and Univeral Truths
We use the Present Simple to talk about universal truths (for example, laws of nature) or things we
believe are, or are not, true. It's also use it to generalize about something or somebody.
-Water boils at 100 degrees Celcius. Universal Truths
-It is a big house. Facts
-The Earth goes around the Sun. Universal Truths, Facts
-Dogs are better than cats. Generalization
-Berlin is the capital city of Germany. Facts
-The Elephant doesn't fly. Facts
-London is the capital city of France. Facts (REMEMBER: the sentence does not have to be
USE 2: Habits and Routines
We also used this tense to describe actions that happen frequently. For example: habits, routines,
-We leave for work at 7:30 AM every morning. Routine
-My husband watches the TV in the evening. Habit, Routine
-Susan often meets with her friends after school. Habit, Routine
-They usually play football on Sunday. Habit, Routine
-Mark rarely visits his sick grandmother. Tendency
-Pinocchio usually told lies. Tendency
Adverbs of Frequency
The Present Simple is often used with the frequency adverbs:
from time to time
every now and then
A few examples how to use them in sentences:
-I always go to church on Sundays.
-I never eat anything after 10 PM.
USE 3: Pernament Situations
Use the Present Simple to talk about situations in life that last a relatively long time.
-I live in Boston
-He works as a fireman.
-Margaret drives a Volkswagen.
-Jerry doesn't teach maths at highschool.
USE 4: Events Certain to Happen
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