Saturday, December 29, 2007

Grammar Basics: Unit 3 – Present Continuous

The present continuous is the ~ing form of the verb. It is used with the appropriate form of the verb be:

I am ~ing
You are ~ing
He / she / it is ~ing
We are ~ing
You are ~ing
They are ~ing

The present continuous is used to indicate that an action is happening now:

I’m reading the newspaper.
You can’t fool me – you’re not sleeping!
He’s studying for tomorrow’s exam.
Please be quiet – the baby’s sleeping.
Hurry up – we’re leaving!
They’re outside playing in the sandbox.

Making the ~ing form of the verb:

– In general, simply put –ing after the dictionary form of the verb:
  • eat ==> eating
  • laugh ==> laughing

– If the verb ends with an “e,” omit the “e” and put –ing at the end:
  • smile ==> smiling
  • bake ==> baking

– If the verb has a short vowel, double the final consonant before putting –ing at the end:
  • put ==> putting
  • run ==> running

– For verbs ending in –ie, change the “ie” to “y” before putting –ing at the end:
  • lie ==> lying
  • die ==> dying


Complete the following sentences, using the appropriate form of the verb “be” along with the –ing form of the given verb.

She (sweep) the porch ==> She is sweeping the porch.

1. He (do) his homework.

2. The cat (act) crazy.

3. Mother (wash) clothes in the basement.

4. Father (mow) the lawn.

5. I (take) a bath – shut the door!

6. Please wash your hands – we (have) pork chops for dinner.

7. You (lie) – you’ve never been to Antarctica!

8. It (snow) heavily now.

9. Tell Tom to turn down the volume – I (talk) on the phone.

10. Do you see the bird that (sit) on the fence over there?

11. The twins (swim) in the pool since it’s so hot.

12. We (drink) iced tea to keep cool.

13. Please don’t disturb us – we (practice) for next week’s concert.

14. He (write) a letter to Santa Claus.

15. Thousands of people (die) in Africa from famine.

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