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How to form continuous tenses?

It is observed that English learners have some difficulty in framing continuous tenses. This English Grammar lesson is all about how to form continuous tenses. The continuous tenses talk about an action that is happening or taking place. It is also referred to as progressive tense.

There is a very useful structure that can be used to form these tenses. The tenses can be in the past, present or future

Past continuous tenses (used to talk about an action that was going on in the past)

Sub + was/were + verb +ing

  • I was eating breakfast
  • They were playing football
  • Peter was preparing a presentation

These sentences can be made negative by adding the word ‘not’ after ‘was’ or ‘were’

  • Was + not = wasn’t
  • Were + not = weren’t

Was is used with I, He, She or a name

Were is used with you, we, they

Present Continuous tenses (used to talk about an action going on in the present time)

Sub+ is/am/are +verb+ ing

  • I am watching a movie
  • Joe is cooking dinner

Am is used with I (subject)

Are is used with you, we, they

Is (used with he, she or name)

These sentences can be made negative by adding the word not after is, am or are

  • Is+ not=isn’t
  • Are + not=aren’t

Future continuous tense (used to talk about an action that will happen in the future)

Sub + will be + verb + ing

  • She will be going to the market tomorrow
  • They will be waiting for you at the mall.

These sentences can be made negative by adding the word not after will

  • So it will become will +not+ be
  • Or won’t be

We hope that this English Grammar lesson has helped you a lot and with continuous practice you will go a long way.

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