Lesson 7
The Present Continuous and -Ing Forms


The Present Continuous and -Ing forms

The more you repeat them, the better you’ll say them.


Remember what I said in the previous lesson about winning the battle with verbs. In order to do this, you must:

  1. Learn the verbs in sentences within the context of a story.
  2. Listen and repeat them until they sound completely familiar to you.

Now, we are going to concentrate on the Present Continuous and verbs in the –ing form.


Let’s learn some basic information about this tense first.


Present Continuous

Structure:

  • Affirmative: Subject + am/is/are + main verb ending in –ing + object Example: I’m studying at the library.
  • Negative: Subject + am/is/are + not + main verb ending in –ing + object. Example: They aren’t studying at home.
  • Question: Am/is/are + subject + main verb ending in –ing  + object? Are you studying at home?
  • Negative question: Am/is/are + not + subject + main verb ending in íng + object? Example: Aren’t you studying at home?
  • Answers: Yes, + subject + am/is/are- No, +subject+not+ am/is/are Examples:  Yes, I am- No, I’m not.

Example “Present Continuous” audiobook. Chapter 4. I see that you are laughing.


Spanish equivalent tense: Presente continuo. Example: Estoy estudiando en la biblioteca.  Notice: the Spanish endings –ando, endo can be translated in English with an –ing form. Caminando- Walking- Comiendo- eating .


When do we use this tense?

When we want to speak about actions that are taking place at the moment of speaking (NOW) or are still in progress but will finish at a specific moment, we use the Present Continuous.


Examples:

- What are you saying? (NOW)

- I’m reading a book (not exactly now, but the action hasn’t finished yet)


IMPORTANT:  Do not confuse the use of the English present tense with the use of the Spanish Present Tense. They DO NOT always coincide as in Spanish, in many occasions; the Present Tense is used to speak about now. In English, instead, we use the Present Continuous to speak about now.


Compare:

  • ¿Vienes? ---Present Tense in Spanish used to speak about NOW.
  • Do you come?  Present Tense in English is used to speak about HABITUAL ACTIONS.
  • Are you coming? Present Continuous in English used to speak about NOW.

Remember:

  • ¿Vienes?  Are you coming? CORRECT
  • ¿Vienes? = Do you come?  INCORRECT

Although there are some exceptions, you SHOULDN’T USE the English Present Tense to speak about NOW.


Future use of the Present Continuous

We can also use the present continuous to talk about the future.



There are two forms in this case:

  1. Present continuous structure + future reference

Example: She is having lunch with her sister tomorrow (future reference).


Use: Very planned future, usually for events in the near future. For example, I have written down all the details, the place and time of my appointment, on my calendar.


Example “Present Continuous + future reference” audiobook Chapter 4: She is playing Juliet tomorrowElla interpreta a Julieta mañana.

  1.  Subject+ going to + v. infinitive

Example: She is going to have lunch with her sister tomorrow.


Use: Planned future, but not as planned as the “present continuous” described in point 1 above.


Example “Present Continuous with “going to” audiobook chapter 4:  I am going to tell you, Harry. Te lo voy a contar Harry.

 


 

-Ing forms


In this lesson we are also going to study the –ing form of the verb.


  • After prepositions

  • You’ll see that it appears after prepositions: after going, before coming.


    Examples:

    • He thought of going (“of” is the preposition)
    • I apologise for arriving late (“for” is the preposition)

  • They are also used as nouns

  • Example:

    • Dancing is fun.

    In this kind of structure, we translate the –ing form as an infinitive in Spanish “Bailar es divertido”.  Note: In this case “dancing” acts as a noun.



  • They are also used as adjectives

  • Example:

    • The only thing worth loving is an actress. (after “worth” we use the –ing form)

  • Sometimes –ing form goes after certain verbs

  • Examples:

    • I enjoy cooking- (after “enjoy” we can use –ing form).

    Please, go now to chapter 4 of your audiobook and listen to it at least two times, then read it.


    As you’ll see, I have highlighted the verb tenses we’re studying in this lesson with different colours so that is easier for you to differentiate them.


    Present continuous. (light blue)

    Present continuous expressing future (blue)

    -Ing forms (pink)

     

     


     

    Chapter 4


    The young man falls in love


    "Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing."


    One month later, Dorian was in the small library of Lord Henry's house, who still hadn't arrived home.  The young man seemed to be of ill humour and once or twice thought of going.


    Suddenly, he heard footsteps and he opened the door.


    "How late you are!" He murmured.


    "I'm afraid I am not Harry, Mr Gray," replied a shrill voice.


    "I beg your pardon.  I thought..."


    "You thought I was my husband.  I am just his wife.  Let me introduce myself.  I know you well.  I saw you with him at the opera."


    She laughed nervously as she talked.  She was called Victoria.  She was an ordinary woman and seemed dishevelled.


    "It was Wagner, no?"



    "Yes, I like Wagner's music more than any other.  It's so loud that one can talk without being heard.  That's a great advantage, don't you think, Mr Gray?"



    Dorian smiled and shook his head.



    "I'm afraid I don't agree with you, Lady Henry.  I never talk when music is played.  At least, if it's good music.



    "Ah! That's one of Harry's ideas, isn't it Mr Gray?  You mustn't think that I don't like good music.  I adore it, but it makes me too romantic.  Simply, I have had a passion for pianists. They're intelligent!  But here is Harry! Harry, I came to find you and found Mr Gray.  I am very happy to have seen him."



    "I apologise for arriving late, Dorian.  I went to look for a piece of old brocade and had to negotiate for hours for it.  Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing."



    "I'm afraid I must go", exclaimed Lady Henry with her crazy laugh. "Goodbye Mr Gray, goodbye Harry.  I suppose you are eating out.  Me too."



    "I imagine so, my dear" said Lord Henry closing the door behind her.  Then he lit a cigarette and fell onto the sofa.


    "Don't get married, Dorian.  Men marry because they are tired; women marry because they are curious; both end up disappointed"


    "I am too much in love, Harry."


    "Who have you fallen in love with?" Asked Lord Henry.


    "With an actress", said Dorian Gray.


    Lord Henry shrugged his shoulders.


    "That's rather common. Who is she?"


    "She is called Sibyl Vane."


    "I have never heard anyone speaking about her."


    "Nobody has.  But everyone will one day.  She is a genius."


    "My dear boy, no woman is a genius."


    "Harry! How dare you!"


    "My dear Dorian, it's true.  Anyway, tell me about your girl.  How long ago did you meet her?"


    "Three weeks ago."


    "Where did you come across her?"


    "I am going to tell you Harry.  For days after I met you, I felt something special inside me.  One evening, around seven o'clock, I decided to go out to search for adventure.  I felt that London had something in store for me.  The danger gave me a sense of pleasure.  Around eight-thirty I passed in front of a small theatre.  A hideous Jew was in the entrance, smoking a cigarette and he invited me to go in.  You are going to laugh at me, I know, but I went in.  If I hadn't done it my dear Henry, I would have missed the greatest love story of my life.  I see that you are laughing."


    "I am not laughing at you."


    "Well, I went in and sat down.  The place was vulgar and very depressing.  I looked at the programme and saw that they were doing Romeo and Juliet.  

    I was interested. They raised the curtain and the play started. Romeo was a stocky, elderly gentleman.  But Juliet! Imagine a girl hardly seventeen years old, with the face of a flower, dark brown hair, passionate eyes and lips like rose-petals. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life!  Common women are different.  But an actress!  Why didn't you tell me that the only thing worth loving is an actress?"


    "Because I have loved many, Dorian.  And now tell me...what are your actual relations with Sybil Vane?"


    Dorian stood up.


    "Harry! Sybil Vane is sacred!"


    "Why are you angry?  At least you will have talked to her?"


    "I didn't speak to her until the third night. She is so shy and delicate! There is something childlike in her.  She decided to call me 'Prince Charming'.  I am going to see her act every night."


    "And what are you thinking of doing?"


    "I want Basil and you to come with me to see her act."


    "Good, which night shall we go?"


    "We will go tomorrow.  She is playing Juliet tomorrow."


    "O.K."


    "I must go.  She is waiting for me."


    When he left the room, Lord Henry closed his eyes and started to think about what had happened with Dorian Gray.  Shortly after, his servant advised him that he should get dressed to go out for dinner.  When he returned home, at around twelve-thirty, he saw a telegram on the table in the hall.  It was from Dorian Gray.  It announced that he was going to marry Sibyl Vane.

     




    Listen and repeat the following sentences. Try to memorise them

    Spanish

    English

    Phonetics

    Approximate

    Pronunciation

    Una o dos veces pensó en irse

    once or twice he thought of going

    | wʌns ɔː twaɪs ˈθɔːt əv ˈɡəʊɪŋ |

    Wuáns or tuáis zot of góing

    Siento llegar tarde

    I apologise for arriving late

    ˈaɪ əˈpɒlədʒaɪz fər əˈraɪvɪŋ leɪt |

    Ái ápolochais for áraiving léit

    Nunca he oído (a nadie) hablar de ella

    I have never heard  anyone speaking about her

    ˈaɪ həv ˈnevə hɜːd ˈeniwʌn ˈspiːkɪŋ əˈbaʊt hə |

    Ái hav néver herd éniwuan sspíking ábaut her

    Se lo voy a contar (a usted) Harry

    I’m going to tell you Harry

    aɪm ˈɡəʊɪŋ tə tel ju ˈhæri |

    Áin going to tel iu hári

    Usted se va a reír de mí

    You are going to laugh at me

    ju ə ˈɡəʊɪŋ tə lɑːf ət miː |

    Iu ar góing tu laf at mi

    Veo que (usted) se está riendo

    I see that you are laughing

    ˈaɪ ˈsiː ðət ju ə ˈlɑːfɪŋ |

    ái si dat iu ar lafing

    No me estoy riendo de usted

    I am not laughing at you

    ˈaɪ əm nɒt ˈlɑːfɪŋ ət ju |

    Ái am not láfing at iu

    La única cosa que merece amor es una actriz

    The only thing worth loving is an actress

    ði ˈəʊnli ˈθɪŋ wɜːθ ˈlʌvɪŋ z ən ˈæktrəs |

    Di óunli zing  wuorz láving iss an áktres

    Voy a verla actuar todas las noches

    I am going to see her act every night

    ˈaɪ əm ˈɡəʊɪŋ tə ˈsiː hə ækt ˈevri naɪt |

    Ái am góing tu si her akt évri náit

    ¿Y qué piensa hacer?

    And what are you thinking of doing?

    ənd ˈwɒt ə ju ˈθɪŋkɪŋ əv ˈduːɪŋ |

    And wuát ár iu zinking of duing?

    Ella interpreta a Julieta mañana.

    She is playing Juliet tomorrow

    ʃi z ˈpleɪɪŋ ˈdʒʊlɪet təˈmɒrəʊ |

    Shi is pléing yúliet tomórou

    Ella me espera

    She is waiting for me.

    ʃi z ˈweɪtɪŋ fə miː

    Shi iss wéiting for mi-



     

    To sum up:


    The Present Continuous is used:

     to speak about actions that take place now. Example: I’m working now.




     to speak about actions that are still in progress. Example: I’m reading a book (not exactly now, but I haven’t finished reading it yet).


    Future uses of the Present Continuous

     Very planned actions. Example: I’m flying to Rome tomorrow morning.

     Or less planned (going to). Example: I’m going to work at home tomorrow.


    The –ing form is used:

     After prepositions: for/ of/after/before- Example:  I apologise for arriving late.

     As a noun. Example: Dancing is fun.

     As an adjective. Example: It’s worth loving

     After certain verbs. Example: I enjoy painting.




    Homework:

    1. Remember that this course is based on listening and repeating, so go back to chapter 1, 2 and 3 of your audiobook and try to spot the Present Continuous and the –ing forms.
    2. Repeat the sentences of chapter 1, 2 and 3 that are in Present Continuous and –ing form aloud. Try to memorise all of them.
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