What is present continuous?

What Does present continuous Mean

The concept of present continuous is used to refer to a verb tense in the English language . Called present continuous in its original language, it can also be called progressive present ( present progressive ).

The present continuous is used to describe an action that is taking place at the moment of the statement . For example: "The dog is barking . " This sentence, which can be translated as "The dog is barking" , refers to an act that is simultaneous to the expression.
This verb tense also allows naming an activity that is carried out in the present , although not at that precise moment: “I'm learning French” ( “I'm learning French” ). Whoever enunciates the message, in this case, indicates that he is immersed in a process of learning French, but that does not mean that he is "learning" just when he is speaking.

Refer to something that you have decided or confirmed to do in the future , on the other hand, it is also possible thanks to the continuous present: "Rachel is coming to town next week" ( "Rachel is coming to town next week" ).
The future constructed with sentences in the present continuous is very similar to that based on the structure going to do , although it has some subtle differences. If we return to the example from the previous paragraph, we can contrast it with another to know when to use each structure: in this case the present continuous is used because Rachel has already confirmed that it will come next week, so it is a plan that could be scheduled with precision . To speak of the intention to do something in a less defined future, instead, we can use going to : "I'm going to visit Rachel next winter" ; This does not mean that we do not want to go or that the odds are slim, but that we have not yet set a date or bought the tickets, for example.
As can be seen in all these examples, the present continuous is formed with the verb to be conjugated in the present simple , plus another verb expressed in gerund that ends in -ing .
In this way, affirmative sentences are composed with the subject + the auxiliary verb ( to be ) + the gerund verb ending in –ing : “He is reading a book” . In negative sentences, on the other hand, the negative auxiliary is added to the verb to be ( "The man is not talking" ).
Another peculiarity that we can notice in all the examples and applications of the present continuous is that it is not exactly a tense but rather a structure that serves to express ideas equivalent to more than one tense in Spanish . This is because the English language does not have proper verb tenses, and that is why they use the term tense and not one that can be translated exactly as "time."

By this English word we understand all the forms of a verb that allow us to express the time in which the action takes place. Given that one of these forms can be equivalent to more than one time of ours but this does not occur in the opposite sense , it is not correct to understand them as synonyms. Perhaps the confusion in translating his name starts from the moment we see the word "present."
In this regard, a couple of clarifications should be made. The simple present tense , also from English, has a very different basic utility: it is used to express unquestionable truths or that have been fulfilled up to the moment of speaking. A sentence in present simple can be "Water freezes at zero degrees Celsius" ( "Water freezes at zero degrees Celsius" ), something that is true and we can check it every time we put water in the freezer; however, it does not express a present, despite its name. The Present Continuous, on the other hand, is more effective to this need: "I'm making dinner right now" ( "Right now I'm preparing dinner" ).

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