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The continuous tense exhibits an action that is, was, or will be in progress at a particular time. The continuous tense is formed with the verb ‘be’ + -ing form of the verb. In this article, find more information on what is different types continuous tense, when it’s used, and many examples of continuous tenses. Tenses are majorly divided into three types depending on the time the action has occurred, namely present tense, past tense and future tense.
Types of Continuous Tenses:
- Present Continuous Tense
- Past Continuous Tense
- Future continuous Tense
The Present Continuous Tense
The Present continuous can be used to show an action which is happening at the time of speaking. The present continuous tense is often used to show that an action is happening in the present moment and may keep going. The action is present – happening now – and continuous – still happening as the speaker expresses it. The present continuous tense make use of form “to be” along with the present participle of a verb – the verb form ending in -ing.
Examples of Present Continuous Tense:
- I am writing articles on different topics.
- He is reading various kinds of books.
- They are playing football now.
- She is drinking coffee.
- He is going to the library.
- We are coming for shopping in this market.
- We are watching a movie in this Cineplex.
- You are shopping in that market.
- I am singing different kinds of songs, especially modern.
- I am listening to melodious songs.
- He is traveling around the world.
- They are playing cricket in that field.
- The poet is writing romantic poems.
- The lyricist is writing realistic songs.
- Are you listening to realistic songs?
- I am not quarreling with you.
- Are you coming to our home?
- I am helping him to do the task.
- My mom is cooking beef with cabbage.
- Are you watching cricket on television?
The Past continuous Tenses
The Past continuous can be used to exhibit an action which was happening in the past. It is important to remember that the Past continuous is often used to express an action which was happening when another action, which is often shorter, happened at the same time, stopped the continuous action or started after the continuous action.
The Past Continuous tense is an important tense in English. We use it to say what we were in the middle of doing at a specific time in the past.
How do we make the Past Continuous tense?
The structure of the past continuous tense is:
|subject||+||auxiliary be||+||main verb|
|conjugated in Past Simple|
|was, were||present participle|
The auxiliary verb (be) is conjugated in the Past Simple: was, were
The main verb is invariable in present participle form: -ing
For negative sentences we insert not between the auxiliary verb and the main verb.
For question sentences, we exchange the subject and the auxiliary verb.
Examples of the Past Continuous Tense
- Rahul was practising the guitar after classes.
- The baby was crying when I came into the room.
- The children were playing in the playground.
- The girls were dancing as the music played.
- The child was eating a banana.
- Sam was going to the library.
- The dog was barking at night.
- The students were not studying for the test.
- They were going to play football.
- My mother was baking a cake for me.
- The birds were chirping in the sky.
- The kite was flying in the sky.
- What were you doing when the alarm went off last night?
- Were you calling me when I emailed you this afternoon?
- What was she doing this time yesterday?
- I was having a great conversation with him when his ex-girlfriend interrupted it.
- While we were playing tennis, it started to rain.
- I was listening to my music, so I didn’t hear the phone ring.
- While she was sleeping, someone took her phone.
The Future Continuous Tense
The Future continuous is used to show that an action will be happening at a time in the future.
I will be having dinner at my parents’ house tomorrow.
Tenses are divided into three types based on the time the action has taken place, namely present tense, past tense and future tense. Now, these three tenses can again be subdivided into four different types each. Future continuous tense is one of the four types of future tense.
In simple terms, future continuous tense refers to those verbs that are going to happen in future and are going to continue for some particular time.
Examples of Future Continuous Tense
- Nita will be writing the letter tomorrow.
- The baby will be sleeping the whole night.
- Sandra will be helping my mother to make breakfast.
- John will be eating the cake later.
- Sheldon will be running the marathon tomorrow.
- She will be taking her pup for a walk.
- Aman will be coming to our place soon.
- My father won’t be working tomorrow.
- I won’t be watching the series this month.
- Who will be waiting for John at the railway station?
- Will I be sleeping here?
- I will be arriving at the station by 2:00 P.M.
- My friends will be coming over for dinner tomorrow.
- Will you be doing laundry tonight?
- I will be watering the plants tomorrow morning.
- Jonah will be visiting his aunt tomorrow.
- I will be joining the new office from next week.
- My parents will be flying to India tomorrow.
- I will not be working tomorrow.
- Rahul will be staying at the hotel on Sunday.
How to Form Future Continuous Tense?
Have you ever thought how future continuous tense can be formed? The simple trick is – [Subject + will be + verb in ‘-ing’ form].
For example, “John will be going to his grandmother’s house tomorrow.” Here, ‘John’ is followed by ‘will be’ and the verb in ‘-ing’ form, i.e. ‘going’.
Different Ways in Which the Future Continuous Tense Can be Used
Future continuous tense can be used in three different ways, namely affirmative future continuous tense, negative future continuous tense, and interrogative future continuous tense.
|Interrogative Sentence||Present continuous tense|
|what are Prepositions||Helping verbs|
|English Grammar Learning Tips||Mastering the Tenses in English|