The principal uses of the present continuous are listed below.
- To describe actions happening at the exact moment of speech:
- The boy is crying.
- To refer to temporary situations:
- I’m living in London at the moment. (I don’t normally live here)
- My cousin is working in a restaurant until she finds a job in her field.
- The present continuous is often used with: now, at the moment, today, this morning/afternoon/evening/week/month/year, currently
- To refer to tendencies and trends:
- The world’s population is increasing rapidly.
- Google is making it easier for people to find, rate and share information about local businesses.
- To express irritation, anger or envy:
- She’s always losing her gloves! (complaint)
- He’s always travelling around the world! (envy)
- The following adverbs are often used: always, constantly, forever
- To use with state verbs when the meaning is temporary.
- I’m thinking of buying a new car. (trying to reach a decision)
- I think you should buy a new car. (my opinion, so not temporary)
- He is tasting the wine they have brought him. (activity)
- The wine tastes sweet rather than sour. (sense)
- I was having a bath when the phone rang. (activity, not possession)
- The room has a private bathroom with a tub and shower. (possession)