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Planned actions: future reference

We use the Present Continuous to refer to activities and events planned for the future.

Bob and Bill are meeting tonight. (implies that they’ve arranged it)

It is commonly associated with future arrival and departure and occurs with verbs like arrive, come, go, leave, etc. to describe travel arrangements. We generally need an adverbial unless the meaning is clear from the context:

We're spending next winter in Australia.

He's arriving tomorrow morning on the 13.27 train.
The adverbial and the context prevent confusion with the present continuous to describe an action which is in progress at the time of speaking:

Look! The train's leaving (i.e. it's actually moving).

With the verbs do, have and verbs indicating position such as stay, remain, etc. Present Continuous can be used more widely. It can express a decision or plan without any definite arrangement.


6We often use Present Continuous with verbs of movement to talk about actions which are just starting:

Get your coat on. I am taking you down to the doctor.


7 We use Present Continuous to describe a continual process:

The Earth is always moving.

The sun is ever shining.


8Present Continuous is used with the adverbs always, constantly, continually, all the time andforeverto show irritation, annoyance, disapproval.

He is always talking too much. (His talking too much irritates the speaker. He could have talked less.)

Our burglar alarm is forever going off for no reason.

Sometimes it’s possible to use Present Continuous to express unexpected, unplanned actions:

I am always meeting Mrs. Gale in the supermarket.


9Present Continuous is used to ask people politely about their plans:

What are you doing next Saturday?

10Present Continuous is used for “background” situations in present tense narrative:

So, I am standing there minding my own business when the policeman walks up to me.


Ех. 4 Explain the use of the Present Continuous in the following sentences:

1. Bill, stop that disgusting game you're playing. 2. They've moved to their London house. They are buying new furniture. 3. Не paused and looked at her. "You're shaking. Are уоu all right?" 4. Не is always having to check his emotions. 5. I am meeting Jason at his office оn the 25th. 6. Уоu know that cinema audiences are declining in the United States. 7. The rain is just beginning. 8. Sally put down the telephone. "It was Dan. He's staying at the club tonight. He's too tired to drive home." 9. You are always drinking tea when I come here for а snack. 10. I miss her very much, almost every minute of the day I think of her. 11. Му father is always saying things that he shouldn't say in front of me. 12. "Don't go," he said. "I feel faint. The room is spinning around." 13. The aspirin isn't working. I’m in pain. 14. Albert is doing quite nicely in the used-car business. 15. Ву the way, I’m having some people over for dinner tonight. 16. We're having а boring gossip аll about Peter's chances. 17. You are looking wealthy, prosperous and fine. 18. "I've heard the whole story, аll the town is talking of it," he said.

Ex. 5 Put the verbs in brackets into the Present Continuous tense:

1. She (not work), she (swim) in the river. 2. He (teach) his boy to ride. 3. Why Ann (not wear) her new dress? 4. The airplane (fly) at 2,000 metres. 5. What Tom (do) now? He (clean) his shoes. 6. This fire (go) out. Somebody (bring) more coal? 7. It (rain)? - Yes, it (rain) very hard. You can't go out yet. 8. Why you (mend) that old shirt? 9. You (not tell) the truth. - How do you know that I (not tell) the truth? 10. Who (move) the furniture about upstairs? - It's Tom. He (paint) the front bedroom. 11. Mrs Jones (sweep) the steps outside her house. 12. What you (read) now? I (read) Crime and Punishment. 13. It is a lovely day. The sun (shine) and the birds (sing). 14. Someone (knock) at the door. Shall I answer it? - I (come) in a minute. I just (wash) my hands. 15. She always (ring) up and (ask) questions. 16. Why you (make) a cake? Someone (come) to tea? 17. Where is Tom? - He (lie) under the car. 18. Can I borrow your pen or you (use) it at the moment? 19. You (do) anything this evening? - No, I'm not. - Well, I (go) to the cinema. Would you like to come with me? 20. We (have) breakfast at 8.00 tomorrow as Tom (catch) an early train. 21. Ann usually does the shopping, but I (do) it today as she isn't well. 22. Why you (type) so fast? You (make) a lot of mistakes. 23. Mother (rest) now. She always rests after lunch. 24. They (dig) an enormous hole just outside my gate. - What they (do) that for? - I don't know. Perhaps they (look) for oil. 25. What (make) that terrible noise? - It's the pneumatic drill. They (repair) the road. 26. The children are very quiet. Go and see what they (do). - They (cut) up some Ј5 notes. 27. What you (wait) for? - I (wait) for my change; the boy just (get) it. 28. I can't hear what you (say); the traffic (make) too much noise. 29. She always (lose) her glasses and (ask) me to look for them. 30. Mother: What you (look) at? Something (happen) in the street? 31. Child: Yes. The house opposite is on fire! Come and look. Mother: I can't. I (bath) the babies. Is the Fire Brigade here? 32. Child: Yes. Fire engines (rush) up and the firemen (jump) out and (unroll) their hoses. 33. Smoke (pour) from the windows! People (stop) to watch. A policeman (try) to move them on. 34. An old man (climb) out of a first floor window! A fireman (help) him! Two boys (slide) down a rope! 35. A woman (wave) from the attic and a fireman (go) up a ladder to help her! 36. Now he (come) down again! He (carry) a baby! The crowd (cheer).

Ex. 6 Complete the conversation. Put in a present continuous form of the verb:

Andrew: What ... (you / do)?

Rachel: ... (I / write) a letter to a friend. He's a disc jockey. Vicky and I ... (try) to organize a disco.

Andrew: That sounds a lot of work. How ... (you / find) time for your studies?

Rachel: Well, as I said, Vicky ... (help) me. ... (we / get) on all right. ... (we / not / spend) too much time on it. ... (it / not / take) me away from my studies, don't worry about that. Oh, sorry, ... (you / wait) for this computer?

Andrew: Yes, but there's no hurry.

Rachel: ... (I / correct) the last bit of the letter. I've nearly finished.


Ex. 7 Put in the present continuous or simple of the verbs:

Mark: ... (you / look) for someone?

Alan: Yes, ... (I / need) to speak to Neil. He isn't in his office.

Mark: ... (he / talk) to the boss at the moment. ... (I / think) ... (they / discuss) money.

Alan: Oh, right. And what about you? ... (you / look) for someone too?

Mark: Yes, Linda. ... (you / know) where she is?

Alan: Oh, she isn't here today. She only ... (work) four days a week. ... (she / not / work) on Fridays. She'll be here on Monday.

Mark: Thank you. ... (you / know) a lot about Linda.

Alan: Well, most days ... (I / give) her a lift, or ... (she / give) me one. ... (she / live) quite close to me. ... (it / save) petrol.

Mark: Yes, of course. Good idea. Yes, ... (I/ agree). Well, ... (I / waste) my time here then. I'll get back to my computer.


Ex. 8 Complete the sentences. Put in the present continuous or simple of the verbs:

1. (it / snow) outside. (it / come) down quite hard, look. 2. Normally (I / start) work at eight o'clock, but (I / start) at seven this week. We're very busy at the moment. 3. I haven't got a car at the moment, so (I / go) to work on the bus this week. Usually (I / drive) to work. 4. The sun (rise) in the east, remember. It's behind us so (we / travel) west. 5. I'm afraid I have no time to help just now (I / write) a report. But (I / promise) I'll give you some help later. 6. (I / want) a new car (I / save) up to buy one.


Ex. 9 Complete the sentences. Use always and the present continuous or simple:

Melanie: Tom talks too much, doesn't he?

Rita: Yes, and he's always talking about football.

Laura: You forget your keys every time.

Trevor: I try to remember them, but I always forget.

1. Claire: Sarah takes the train every day, doesn't she?

Mark: Yes, ......... the train.

2. Vicky: Rachel misses lectures much too often in my opinion.

Emma: I agree. .......... lectures.

3. Mike: Every time I drive along here, I go the wrong way.

Harriet: But it's very simple, isn't it? Why .......... the wrong way?

4. David: Trevor and Laura argue much too often, I think.

Melanie: I know ......



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