Saturday, 7 January 2012

The Continuous Forms


The Continuous Tenses: grammar rules, usage and examples.
present continuous 
past continuous
future continuous

The Present Continuous

The Formation of the Present Continuous

auxiliary verb to be (is/are) + Participle I 
(the present tense of the verb to be + the present participle of the main verb.)

Affirmative Interrogative Negative
I am walking.
He is walking.
She is walking.
It is walking.
We are walking.
You are walking.
They are walking.
Am I walking?
Is he walking?
Is she walking?
Is it walking?
Are we walking?
Are you walking?
Are they walking?
I am not walking.
He is not walking.
She is not walking.
It is not walking.
We are not walking.
You are not walking.
They are not walking.

The Present Continuous is used to denote:
1) an action going on at the present moment.

Key example: 
Children are going to school now.

For study: 
Look out of the window in the morning!
  1. Cars are running along the street.
  2. People are hurrying to work. 
  3. Children are going to school.
  4. Some are crossing the street.
  5. A milkmaid is pouring milk into a jug. 
  6. A man is selling newspapers. 
  7. A woman is approaching the grocery.


Look out of the window in the morning!
  1. Children are not running across the street. 
  2. They are not playing in the street. 
  3. They are not riding their bicycles.
  4. It is not raining.

What are people doing in the street?
  1. Are people hurrying to work?
  2. Are children hurrying to school?
  3. Are boys playing football? 
  4. Are people going shopping? 
  5. Are street sweepers cleaning the street?

2) an action going on for a certain period of time.

Key example:
My uncle is writing a new book.
  1. John is reading stories by O’Henry. 
  2. Mary is working at her thesis. 
  3. They are finishing evening courses.

3) an action which is planned for the near future (often with the verbs to go, to come, to leave).

Key example: 
I am going to the country on Saturday.
We are leaving for London tomorrow.
Jack is going to Dublin in 2 days.
Mary is coming to see us next week.
John is taking his exam next Monday.


The Past Continuous

The Formation of the Past Continuous

auxiliary verb to be (was/were) + Participle I 
(the past tense of the verb to be + the present participle of the main verb) 
Affirmative Interrogative Negative
I was working.
He was working.
She was working.
It was working
We were working.
You were working.
They were working.
Was I working?
Was he working?
Was she working?
Was it working?
Were we working?
Were you working?
Were they working?
I wasn’t working.
He wasn’t working.
She wasn’t working.
It wasn’t working
We weren’t working.
You weren’t working.
They weren’t working.

The Past Continuous is used:
1) to denote an action which was going on at a definite moment in the past.

Key example:
They were leaving a coffeehouse at 8 p.m.

For study: 
What were you doing yesterday at 5 o’clock?
  1. We were having dinner at 5 o’clock. 
  2. I was pouring wine into the glasses. 
  3. Father was cutting the stewed meat. 
  4. The family were chatting and laughing
  5. Granny was simply resting.

2) to denote an action thought of as continual process. In this case the adverbs always, often, constantly are used.

For study:
  1. Ann was always adjusting her head-scarf in front of the mirror.
  2. She was always dressing with special care.
  3. She was often wearing a broad-brimmed hat. 
  4. She was constantly smoothing the lap of her silk dress.
  5. She was often talking about her dresses.


The Future Continuous

The Formation of the Future Continuous

auxiliary verb to be (shall/will be) + Participle I
(the future tense of the verb to be + the present participle of the main verb)  

The Future Continuous is used:
to denote an action which will be going on at a definite moment in the future.

Key example:
I shall be cooking dinner at 12. 
Affirmative Interrogative Negative
I shall be resting at 5.
He will be resting at 5.
She will be resting at 5.
It will be resting at 5.
We shall be resting at 5.
You will be resting at 5.
They will be resting at 5.
Shall I be resting at 5.
Will he be resting at 5.
Will she be resting at 5.
Will it be resting at 5.
Shall we be resting at 5.
Will you be resting at 5.
Will they be resting at 5.
I shan’t be resting at 5.
He won’t be resting at 5.
She won’t be resting at 5.
It won’t be resting at 5.
We shan’t be resting at 5.
You won’t be resting at 5.
They won’t be resting at 5.