The principal uses of the present continuous are listed below.
- To describe actions happening at the exact moment of speech:
The boy is crying.
- To refer to temporary situations:
I‘m living in London at the moment. (I don’t normally live here)
My cousin is working in a restaurant until she finds a job in her field.
The present continuous is often used with: now, at the moment, today, this morning/afternoon/evening/week/month/year, currently
- To refer to tendencies and trends:
The world’s population is increasing rapidly.
Google is making it easier for people to find, rate and share information about local businesses.
- To express irritation, anger or envy:
She‘s always losing her gloves! (complaint)
He‘s always travelling around the world! (envy)
The following adverbs are often used: always, constantly, forever
To use with state verbs when the meaning is temporary.
I’m thinking of buying a new car. (trying to reach a decision)
I think you should buy a new car. (my opinion, so not temporary)
He is tasting the wine they have brought him. (activity)
The wine tastes sweet rather than sour. (sense)
I was having a bath when the phone rang. (activity, not possession)
The room has a private bathroom with a tub and shower. (possession)