Continuous tenses

To describe a continuing action in English we use continuous (also known as progressive) tenses. There are three of these: present, past, and future. They’re respectively formed with the present, past, or future of the verb to be but, no matter when the action happened, are always followed by the present participle (the form of a verb that ends in –ing), for example:

I’m thinking of you.

We were standing at the bar waiting to be served.

She’ll be singing in the choir tonight.

You can read more about continuous tenses on the Oxford Dictionaries blog. Here you will find information regarding the ongoing debate about the acceptability of certain words when used in the continuous tense.


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Grammar and usage