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Present continuous - notes and practice

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1. We use the present continuous when we talk about something that is happening at the time of speaking (justo ahora: now, at the moment).

Please, don't make so much noise. I am studying.
Where is Paul? He's having a bath.
Let's go out. It isn't raining any more.
(At the party) Are you enjoying the party?

2. We also use the present continuous when we talk about something which is happening around the time of speaking, but not necessarily exactly at the time of speaking. (en esta época).

Tom and Ann are talking in a café. Tom says: "I am reading a very interesting book at the moment. I'll lend it to you when I've finished it". ("talk" = case 1; "read" = case 2)
Silvia is learning French / They are building their own house

3. We often use the present continuous when we talk about a period around the present. For example, with "today", "this year", etc. (ESTE AÑO, ETC.)

You're training hard (Yes, I have a lot to do this year. I've got a competition.)
We're not playing this season
["No jugamos esta temporada". Aquí también podríamos traducir el present continuous por la perífrasis verbal "ir a + verbo" = No vamos a jugar esta temporada.]

4. We use the present continuous when we talk about changing situations. (ESTÁ CAMBIANDO)

The population of the world is rising very fast
Is your English getting better?

5. The present continuous can have a future meaning. We use it here instead of the Near Future (to be + going to + V), this is, when we are talking about what we have already arranged to do. (IR A + VERBO)

What are you doing tomorrow evening? I'm going to the theatre.
Are you meeting your friends tomorrow?
Yes, we're going out for a drink.
I'm sorry, I cannot go - I'm working on/next Sunday.

We could also say:
What are you going to do tomorrow evening? / I am going (to go) to the theatre. / Are you going to meet your friends tomorrow? / Yes, we're going (to go) out for a drink. / I'm sorry, I cannot go - I'm going to work

Note: When we use the present continuous it is necessary to add a time reference (see "tomorrow, tomorrow evening, on/next Sunday") so we know it refers to the future and not to the present. With the verbs GO and COME it is not necessary to add the time reference.

EXERCISES

A. Fill in the blanks putting the verb in the correct form.

Please don't make so much noise. I am studying (study)
Let's go out now. It isn't raining any more (not/raining)
Listen to those people. What language are they speaking? (they/speak)

1. Please be quiet. I ............................ to concentrate (try)
2. Look! It ............................. (snow)
3. Why ............................. at me like that? (you/look)
4. You ............................. a lot of noise. Can you be a bit quieter? (make)
5. Excuse me, I .............................. for a phone box. Is there one near here? (look)
6. (In the cinema) It's a good film, isn't it? ......................................... it? (you/enjoy)
7. Listen... Can you hear the people next door? ..................…........ at each other again. (they/shout)
8. Why .................................... your coat today? It's very warm. (you/wear)
9. I .................................. this week. I'm on holiday. (not/work)
10. I want to lose weight. I ............................ anything today. (not/eat)

B. Translate. Remember to use the present continuous.

Loey and Kay meet in a restaurant.

Loey: Hello, Kay. I haven't seen you for ages. ..............................................................................
["¿Qué haces últimamente?". Últimamente = these days/lately]
Kay: ...............................................................................................................................................
["Estoy aprendiendo inglés para conseguir un curro mejor"]
Loey: Really? ................................................................................................................................
["¿Te gusta?". Nota: No se preguntaría con "to like" porque este verbo nunca se conjuga en un "continuous tense". En inglés se diría "¿lo estás disfrutando?/¿te está gustando?/¿te lo estás pasando bien?", que es el verbo "to enjoy" + la actividad o cosa que se disfrute (es que al ser un verbo transitivo tiene que llevar a la fuerza el complemento directo, que normalmente será "it" o "them (si es plural)"]
Kay: Yes, it's quite interesting. How about you?
Loey: .............................................................................................................................................
["Pues yo no estoy trabajando ahora, pero estoy muy ocupada. Me estoy construyendo una casa". Ahora = at the moment/now]
Kay:................................................................................................................................................
[¿De veras? ¿Lo estás haciendo sola?]
Loey: ..............................................................................................................................................
[No, me están ayudando unas amigas (mías)]

C. Translate (present continuous with a future meaning)

1. ¿Qué vas a hacer mañana por la noche? (o "¿Qué haces mañana por la noche?")
2. Voy a ir al teatro (o "Voy al teatro")
3. ¿Vas a quedar con tus amigos esta noche?
4. Mañana trabajo (o "Mañana voy a trabajar")
5. Me marcho el viernes por la mañana
6. Nos vamos a quedar en Londres dos semanas
7. Vamos a quedarnos en un hotel muy barato
8. Vamos a salir a tomar algo

D. Translate (present continuous as a present and as a future)

1. Estoy leyendo un libro muy emocionante
2. ¿Dónde vamos esta noche?
3. ¿Qué haces? (o "¿Qué estás haciendo?")
4. ¿Quién va a venir?
5. Espera, no estoy escuchándote
6. Estoy escuchando unos discos viejos de mi hermano
7. Mi amiga está terminando sus estudios
8. No voy a alquilar este coche
9. ¿Me estás tomando el pelo?
10. No me lo estoy pasando nada bien en esta fiesta
[No estoy disfrutando esta fiesta nada de nada]

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