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The Continuous Tenses

The continuous tenses express events that happen at one particular moment in time. 

The continuous tenses use the auxiliary verb, BE.  The main verb is always the continuous participle, the -ing form.    

 The present continuous tense expresses something that is happening at this particular moment in time. 
 The past continuous tense expresses something that occurred while another  past event  was occurring.


Joan usually saves her files on a CD ROM. Today, she is saving her files from an old disk.



Joan always used to drink her coffee with milk and sugar. Yesterday, while she was taking a break, she decided to try to drink her coffee black.



Joan always wears a suit while she is working. She never wears a suit when she is relaxing



Because she has to sit all day, today Joan is walking during her break. 



This year, Joan is hoping to get a promotion at work. She always works very diligently.



Joan's supervisor has noticed that John never wastes time while she is working.



Joan is trying to make a very good impression with every task she is assigned. 



Last year, Joan was working forty hours a week. This year, she is working fifty hours a week.



Last night, as Joan was leaving the office, she thought she heard a noise.



It was a small mouse that was running into a small hole in the wall.



As Joan left to eat dinner, she wasn't feeling well. However, she felt better as she was walking in the cold, fresh air.  



Joan's boss entered the restaurant as she was ordering her meal. 



She was sitting alone, so he joined her. 


Be sure to follow the continuous tenses all the way through this section!

Click here for the continuous participle

Click here for the present and past continuous tenses 


The continuous tenses are combined with the simple tenses to indicate something that is going on at a particular or specific moment of time.