Grammar | High Beginner 3

Present Continuous

Listen to four short conversations using the present simple tense.

Conversation 1

Todd: Where are you?

Katie: I am working inside. I am writing a letter to my friend. I am telling him about my life and my new job.

Todd: Are you using the computer?

Katie: I am not using the computer because I like to hand write letters. My hand is getting tired though.

Conversation 2

Todd: Where is Mary?

Katie: Mary is cooking in the kitchen. She is chopping up some vegetables because she is making a vegetable soup.

Todd: How is she making it?

Katie: She is reading a recipe and following the instructions inside. She is enjoying herself.

Conversation 3

Todd: What is Bob doing?

Katie: Bob is working on his car. He is giving it a tune up. He is changing the oil and checking all the parts of the cars.

Todd: But, he is not working? He is just standing there!

Katie: He is taking his time because he wants to do the job right. He is listening to the radio as he works.

Conversation 4

Todd: Where are the twins?

Katie: They are playing outside. They are playing soccer with their friends. They are using the front lawn as a soccer pitch.

Todd: Are they having fun?

Katie: They are having a lot of fun. They are exercising so they are burning lots of energy. I think they are trying to lose weight.

Present Continuous

We use the present continuous when an activity is in progress.

(Q) What are you doing?
(A) I am working.
(N) I am not having fun.

(Q) What is she doing?
(A) She is working out.
(N) She is not breathing hard.

(Q) What is he doing?
(A) He is watching TV.
(N) He is not paying attention to me.

(Q) What are they doing?
(A) They are playing cards.
(N) There are not talking to each other.

(Q) What are you doing?
(A) We are getting ready to leave.
(N) We are not planning on staying.

(Q) Are you working?
(A) Yes, I am.
(N) No, I’m not.

Continuous vs. Simple
We use the present continuous tense for an action that starts and finishes within a reasonable time.

We use the present simple tense for an action that is repeating or ongoing.

Answer the following questions about the interview.