Present continuous tense

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The Present Continuous is made with the present form of the verb "to be" (I am, you are, he/she/it is, we are, you are, they are) + the '-ing' form of the main verb. The '-ing' form of the verb is called the Present Participle.

Present Continuous (Progressive) Tense

Affirmative (Positive) Form

Negative Form

Question Form

















































































Contracted forms: I am = I'm        he/she/it is = he's/she's/it's                     you are = you're
  I am not  = I'm not       he/she/it is not = he isn't/she isn't/it isn't        you are not  = you aren't

                                 we are = we're                        they are   = they're                              

                            we are not  = we aren't             they are not = they aren't                     

Examples:  1. What are you doing?                                       3. He is reading a newspaper.

2. I'm having a bath.                                            4. Are they working?

2. Using the Present Continuous Tense

 We most often use the Present Continuous when we talk about something which is happening at the time of speaking (now, at the moment):

Examples:  Pamela is sleeping in the bedroom.

1. The telephone is ringing!

2. They are doing their homework.

3. I'm waiting for my girlfriend in front of the cinema.

Present Continuous is also used when we talk about something which is happening at present, but not necessarily at the moment of speaking:

Examples:  1. I'm reading an interesting book.

2. Tom is looking for a new job.

3. We are studying English and Spanish.

We can use the Present Continuous when we talk about temporary actions taking place only for a period of time (today, this week, this semester, this year):

Examples:  1. My husband is working hard today.

2. They are spending this week in Paris.

3. She is teaching English this semester.

4. We are staying at the Bristol Hotel tonight.

5. I'm living with my parents at the moment but soon I'll buy my own house.

Present Continuous is also used to express current trends:

Examples:  1. Fuel prices are rising constantly because of strong demand.

2. On-line shopping is growing rapidly nowdays.

We can use the Present Continuous when we talk about repeated actions which are irritating to the speaker (always, constantly):

Examples:  1. He is always complaining from his colleagues.

2. My son is always getting into trouble in school.

 Sometimes we use the Present Continuous to describe a planned action in the near future:

Examples:  1. I'm leaving for Vienna tomorrow morning.

2. We are having lunch at 12.30 o'clock.


1. Read the following passage about the speed of light:

The speed of light is the speed limit for all matter. Suppose that at the moment two spaceships are travelling at nearly the speed of light. They are moving directly towards each other. The realms of spacetime for each ship differ in such a way that the relative speed of approach, from any frame of reference, is still less than the speed of light. For example, when both ships are travelling towards each other at 80 % the speed of light relative to the earth, an observer on each ship can measure her speed of approach as 98 % the speed of light. There are no circumstances where the relative speeds of any material objects surpass the speed of light.

2. Compare the sentences below:

– The speed of light is the speed limit for all matter.

– Two spaceships are moving at nearly the speed of light at the moment.

– They are moving directly towards each other.

3. Grammar questions:

– What tenses are the two verb forms in these sentences:

+ Which tense expresses a true fact?

+ Which tense expresses an activity happening now?

4. Complete the rule:

The Present Continuous tense is formed with the present tense of auxiliary

…………+ the………… participle.


1. Grammar

Decide which is the correct verb form:

a. The Earth rotates / is rotating on its axis, and orbits/ is orbiting the sun along with other planets.

b. Now in the city the energy travels / is travelling through wires to homes, where it is used for lighting, heating, cooking.

c. When we sit / are sitting on a fast – moving train, we have no speed at all relative to the train.

d. The kettle boils / is boiling. Can you turn it off, please?

e. Water boils / is boiling at 100 degrees celsius.

f. Today in power stations, in factories and in our cars, we burn/are burning more and more fossil fuels and this produces/is producing huge quantities of CO2.

g. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increases / is increasing every year.

h. Computer science changes / is changing the way you and your children learn.

i. A person or an object can achieve terminal velocity when he or it falls / is falling toward the Earth.

2. Say how the things are changed:

a. The climate ( get ) ……………warmer.

b. That child ( grow ) ……………bigger every day.

c. The universe ( expand ) …………, and has been since its beginning.

d. The political situation ( get ) ………… worse.

e. Men ( live ) ……………longer.

f. In winter the days ( get ) ……………shorter.

g. Disastrous floods ( destroy ) ………………a lot of provinces.

h. Older people ( become ) …………more isolated.

i. That funny noise ( get ) …………louder.

3. Speaking

Discuss in groups what is happening to some of the following.

Example: Nowadays unemployment is becoming very serious.

– the world’s population – prices

– the world’s forests – pollution

– roads – medical care

– teenagers


• Reading and speaking

1. Pre_ reading task

1.1/ We all know that the earth always moves round the sun. Can you explain why?

1.2/ Use your dictionary to check the meaning of the following words:

gravitation, attracted, law, atom, planets.

Put one of the given words in each space:

a. The earth is held near the sun , which is 93 million miles away, by the force of ……

b. Which two great scientists each gave us a …………of gravitation?

c. ……………are so small that we cannot see them.

d. When the magnet ……… the needle , the needle turns.

e. Jupiter is the largest of the …………

2. Read the paragraph below:


Gravitation is a very important force in the universe. Every object has a gravitational pull, which is rather like magnetism. But, unlike magnetism, gravitation is not found only in iron and steel. It is in every object large or small, but large objects, such as the earth, have a stronger pull than small ones. Sir Isaac Newton, the great scientist of the seventeenth century, first studied gravitation. When he was a boy, he often saw apples falling to the ground. He wondered why they fell towards the earth, and why they did not fly up into the sky. According to the law which he later produced, everything in the universe attracts everything else towards itself. The sun attracts the earth and the earth the sun. The earth attracts the moon and the moon the earth. Although the bigger object has the stronger attraction, all objects, in fact, have some; but we do not notice the gravitational pull of a book because the pull of the earth is very much greater. Why does the earth always move round the sun? The sun’s gravitation gives the answer. The earth is always trying to move away in a straight line, but the sun is always pulling it back. So its journey is going on round and round the sun. The sun is one of the stars in the galaxy, in which there are about 100,000 million stars. These stars form a group, the shape of which is rather like the shape of a watch. Gravitation is the force which is holding all the atoms of the earth together, all the atoms of a star together. It is also holding us on the earth; if there were no gravitation, we and everything else would fly off the earth into space. Einstein produced a new law of gravitation. Its main results are the same as the results of Newton’s law, but in very small and fine matters, Einstein’s law gives different results. One of these is that gravitation bends light a little; but according to Newton’s law gravitation has very little effect on light. Einstein showed this fact by means of mathematics, and not by experiment.

Star seems to be here if you look

from the earth star Earth

This result of his law was tested during an eclipse of the sun. Usually, when the light of a star passes the sun, we cannot see it, the sun too bright. But during an eclipse, the sun’s light is shut out by the moon; then we can see the light of the star. The astronomers who watched noticed that the star appeared to change its position a little. The cause of this is that the star’s light is turning from the straight line as it passes the sun. The sun’s gravitation is bending the beam of light. This showed that Einstein’s law is right. ( From Elementary Scientific English Practice)

Comprehension check:

1. Are the sentences true or false. Correct the false sentences:

a. A gravitational pull is like magnetism that is found in iron and steel.

b. The results of Einstein’s law of gravitation are the same as those of Newton’s law.

c. Einstein did a lot of experiments to find out his law.

d. The bigger object has the stronger attraction.

2. Answer the questions below:

a. In which century was Newton born?

b. What question did Newton ask himself when he saw apples falling?

c. Why don’t we notice the gravitational pull of a book?

d. What is the little difference between Einstein’s law and Newton’s law of gravitation?

e. Why can we see some stars in daytime during an eclipse?

3. Notice:

The earth attracts the moon and the moon the earth ( = attracts the earth )

The world “ attracts” is left out.

Leave out as many words as you can in these sentences:

a. There are more atoms in this glass than there are in that bit of metal.

b. It is farther to the sun than it is to the moon.

c. A magnet attracts a steel pin, and the sun attracts the earth.

4. Discussion:

Explain why we do not gravitate toward other people, buildings, distant planets or stars.

• Listening NUMBERS

You are going to listen to some interesting facts about English. Fill the numbers that you hear into the gaps:

1. English is an official or unofficial language in …………………countries.

2. English is the native language in ……………………….………countries.

3. An average native speaker uses between …………and…………words in conversation.

4. The English language contains more words than any other languages. The 1989 Oxford Dictionary of English has ……………………………entries. However, the total number of words – including scientific, medical and technical terms is well over …………………………………… .

Translate into Bulgarian:

1. Gravity is the name given to the force of attraction between objects, even though we do not thoroughly understand it.

2. The moon and other objects in orbit around the earth are actually falling towards the earth but have great enough tangential velocity to avoid hitting the earth.


amount (n)


(обща) сума, сбор

appear (v)


1. (по) явявам се, показвам се, виждам се

approach (n)


наближаване, приближаване, доближаване, подход, подстъп, начин на постъпване

atmosphere (n)


1. атмосфера (и прен.), въздух

2. физ. атмосфера, единица за налягане

attraction (n)


1. привличане, притегляне

2. привлекателност, чар

3. нещо, което привлича, атракция

beam (n)


1. греда

2. лъч, сноп лъчи

bend (v)


1. извивам (се), превивам (се), прегъвам (се), свивам (се), изгърбвам се

2. навеждам се (down, over), покланям се



I. n цирей

II. 1. вря, кипя (и прен.), завирам, възвирам

2. варя, слагам да възври, възварявам, сварявам

bright (adj)


светъл, ярък



скала на Целзиев термометър

circumstance (n)


обик. pi обстоятелство, положение, условие

consist of (v)


състоя се, съставен съм (of от)

contain (v)


съдържам, имам

degree (n)

степен, градус, учена степен

destroy (v)


унищожавам, разрушавам, съсипвам, руша, събарям, срутвам

disastrous (adj)


бедствен, гибелен, пагубен, катастрофален

effect (n)


последица, следствие, резултат

entry (n)


влизане, (по) явяване

expand (v)


разширявам (се), разтягам (се), увеличавам (се), уголемявам (се)

experiment (n)


опит, експеримент, проба

flood (n)


наводнение, потоп

fossil (adj)


вкаменелост, изкопаемо, фосил

fossil fuel

изкопаеми горива

frame of reference

Отправна система

galaxy (n)


астр. галактика

gravitation (n)


физ. гравитация, (земно) притегляне

huge (adj)


грамаден, огромен, гигантски

increase (n)


увеличавам (се), раста, нараствам, усилвам (се), качвам (се), повдигам (се), повишавам (се)

isolate (v)


изолирам (u ел.), отделям, уединявам, усамотявам, поставям под карантина

Jupiter (n)


мит., астр. Юпитер

kettle (n)


голям метален чайник

limit (v)


граница, предел, край (и прен.)

magnetism (n)


магнетизъм (и прен.)



мярка, мяра, размери, количество, единица, уред за мерене (сантиметър и пр.)

medical (adj)


медицински, лекарски

moment (n)


момент, миг (и прен.)

nearly (adv)


почти, току-речи, приблизително, едва не

observer (n)



political (adj)



pollution (n)


мърсене, замърсяване (и на околната среда)

position (n)


местоположение, място

realm (n)


1. царство, страна

2. облаcт, сфера

reference (n)


отнасяне (на въпрос-за решение и пр.), справяне

result (n)


резултат/последица съм, произлизам, произтичам, следвам (from)

scientific (adj)


научен, точен

shape (n)


форма, облик, вид, очертание

situation (n)


разположение, местоположение (на град и пр.)

spacetime (n)


физ., фил. четвъртото измерение

station (n)


място, позиция, пункт, пост, станция

steel (n)


стомана, челик

straight (adj)


прав, в права посока, непрекъсващ, директен, пряк

suppose (v)


предполагам, допускам, считам, мисля

surpass (v)


надвишавам, превишавам, надминавам, надхвърлям

technical (adj)


1. технически, индустриален

2. технически, специален (за термин и пр.)

3. юр. формален

4. изкусен

test (v)


1. изпитание

2. изпит, контролна работа, тес

towards (prep.)


вж. toward

travel (v)


1. ряд. пътуване, странствуване, път

2. рl пътешествия, описание на пътешествие, пътепис

3. тех. придвижване, ход (на бутало)

unemployment (n)



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