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Subject + to be (Present Simple) + Gerund + Object


For most verbs we add -ing to the infinitive to make the gerund. See spelling exceptions below for more information.

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  • We use the Present Continuous to talk about what is happening now:


Whatever is happening at the moment of speaking can be talked about in the Present Continuous . This may have started before the moment of speaking and may well continue after the moment of speaking.

The present continuous is the tense of NOW

Why are you talking to him now?

The ship is leaving the harbour

I am thinking about it, I cannot decide now

NOTE: As the present continuous uses to be as an auxiliary verb it is possible to use contractions in both positive and negative forms.

Contractions are common in spoken English but in formal and written English it is recommended to use full structures.


Apart from the spelling exceptions below verbs in the gerund form are regular

There are some differences in spelling between UK and American English

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Spelling notes
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Related Topics

Present Continuous further functions here     

Temporary states/Repeated actions/Change/Criticism of consistent behaviour

Present Simple form and function here            

Facts/Opinions/Habitual Actions. Exceptions & Spelling notes

Present Simple further functions here              

Instructions & Directions/Stories & Commentaries/Performative utternaces/Newspaper Headlines

Present Simple or Present Continuous here

Permananent or Temporary states/Stative or Dynamic verbs

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