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The present continuous, also called the present progressive or present imperfect, is a verb form used in modern English that combines the present tense with the continuous aspect. It can be employed in both the indicative and subjunctive moods. Approximately 5% of verbs in spoken English are in the present continuous form.
The present continuous is used in several instances:
- To describe something which is happening at the exact moment of speech:
- The boy is laughing.
- To describe an action that is taking place now but not at the exact moment of speech:
- They are working in Dubai.
- To describe an event planned in the future (in combination with a time indicator for the future):
- I'm resitting my French exam on Tuesday.
- With always but meaning often (used to emphasize the frequency of an action in a humorous or hyperbolic way):
- My parents are always making me go to school!
- She is always playing with that doll!
- He is always eating chocolate.
- To describe an action that is taking place now and is subject to interruption:
- Ellen cannot come to the phone since she is sleeping.