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Let’s have a look at the continuous aspect:

Form

to be + -ing (present participle)

am playing

was watching

have been making

is getting

be working

Meaning

An aspect is the way something can be looked at or regarded. With verb forms, there are three aspects: simple, continuous, and perfect. This lesson focuses on the continuous aspect.

The continuous aspect looks at the action and its duration, rather than the result of the action. It suggests that the action has a temporary and limited duration.

It is rare for the continuous aspect to use verbs that describe feelings (hate, like, prefer, …), senses (hear, smell, see, …), or thoughts (believe, understand, think, …). We call these verbs “stative” or “state” verbs, because they speak about the state of a person or object.

Use the following exercises to test yourself.

1.       Is that the new computer game you ordered? _____________________ it?

you + enjoy

2.       At 9 o’clock tomorrow, I _____________________ on the train.

sit

3.       When I came home, he _____________________.

sleep

4.       I have to go! She _____________________ for me.

must + wait

5.       Rob _____________________ all day last week.

hike

6.       While she _____________________, Bill _____________________ on the computer.

read/ work

7.       In January, I _____________________ at my brother’s again.

live

8.       I _____________________ because I just fell off my bike!

cry

9.       How long _____________________ there before they fired him?

he + work

10.   What _____________________ since you graduated?

you + do

11.   Who _____________________ to when I saw you?

you + talk

12.   She _____________________ all morning, give her a break!

study

Key

  1. Are you enjoying
  2. was sitting
  3. was sleeping
  4. must be waiting
  5. was hiking
  6. was reading / was working
  7. will be living / ‘ll be living
  8. am crying / ‘m crying
  9. had he been working
  10. have you been doing
  11. were you talking
  12. has been studying / ‘s been studying

Answers:

1) 

Correct
Incorrect

2)

Correct
Incorrect

3)

Correct
Incorrect

4)

Correct
Incorrect

5)

Correct
Incorrect

6)

Correct
Incorrect

7)

Correct
Incorrect

8) 

Correct
Incorrect

9)

Correct
Incorrect

10)

Correct
Incorrect

11)

Correct
Incorrect

12)

Correct
Incorrect

 

 

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English Grammar – Continuous Aspect, 3.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings