English: Present & Past Progressive, Gerunds

Present Progressive

Past Progressive

Function:

Shows an action in progress (now)

 

Example:

  • Sam is looking for his book
  • They are eating in the canteen
  • I am buying all my family’s Christmas gifts early

 

Formula:

Subject + verb to be (is/am/are) + verb-ing

Function:

Shows a process or action that is in progress sometime in the past

 

Example:

  • I was riding my bike all they yesterday
  • He was being a bad role model
  • They were kicking plastic bottles all over the place

 

Formula:

Subject + verb to be (was/were) + verb-ing

Function:

Shows a future action

 

Example:

  • He is moving to Singapore this summer
  • The team is arriving in two hours
  • We are exercising in half an hour

 

Formula:

Subject + verb to be (is/am/are) + verb-ing + adverbs of time

Function:

Shows an interrupted action

 

Example:

  • Carlos lost his watch while he was running
  • I was sleeping when Tobias smashed through the door
  • They were eating when the fire alarm rang

 

Formula:

While + S + was/were + v-ing, object + simple past

 

*While is used when 2 things are happening in the same time

or

 

S + was/were + v-ing, when + object + simple past

Gerunds (-ing)

When a verb ends in -ing, it may be a gerund or a present participle. It is important to understand that they are not the same.

When we use a verb in -ing form more like a noun, it is usually a gerund:

  • Fishing is fun.

When we use a verb in -ing form more like a verb or an adjective, it is usually a present participle:

  • Anthony is fishing.
  • I have a boring teacher.

 

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