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What Is the Present Progressive Tense? (with Examples)

What Is the Present Progressive Tense? (with Examples)

The present progressive tense is used for an on-going action in the present.

Examples of the Present Progressive Tense

  • Caroline is looking for the latest brochure.
  • Dan and Billy are fishing off the pier.
You can also have a negative version:
  • Caroline is not looking for the latest brochure.
  • Dan and Billy are not fishing off the pier.
And the question version:
  • Is Caroline looking for the latest brochure?
  • Are Dan and Billy fishing off the pier?
The present progressive tense can also be used to describe an activity which is going to happen in the future (especially for planned activities). For example:
  • We are moving to New Zealand in the summer.
  • The train is arriving in 2 minutes.

Forming the Present Progressive Tense

Here is an infographic explaining the present progressive tense:

The Other Present Tenses

The present progressive tense is one of four present tenses. They are:

The 4 Present Tenses Example
simple present tense I go
present progressive tense I am going
present perfect tense I have gone
present perfect progressive tense I have been going
The present progressive tense is formed like this:

[am, is, or are] + [verb] + ing

Choose am, is, or are based on the following table:

SubjectVerb "to be"Present Participle
Iam[verb] + "ing"
He / She / It (or singular noun)is
They (or plural noun)are

For example:
  • She is running.
  • I am talking.

The [verb] + "ing" part is known as a present participle. It is formed like this:

Add "ing" to most verbs:
  • play > playing
  • shout > shouting

For verbs that end "e", remove the "e" and add "ing":
  • prepare > preparing
  • ride > riding

For verbs that end "ie", change the "ie" to "y" and add "ing":
  • lie > lying
  • untie > untying

For verbs whose last syllable is written [consonant-vowel-consonant] and is stressed, double the final consonant and add "ing":
  • run > running
  • forget > forgetting
Interactive Test

Take a longer test on the present progressive tense.