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Let’s have a look at the continuous aspect:


to be + -ing (present participle)

am playing

was watching

have been making

is getting

be working


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.

Now test yourself by trying the quiz.

Use the correct form of the continuous aspect with the verbs and pronouns in the brackets to complete the sentence.

Example question: Is that the new computer game you ordered? _____________________ it? (you + enjoy)
Answer: Are you enjoying


At 9 o’clock yesterday, I ___________________ on the train. (sit)


When I came home, he _____________________. (sleep)


I have to go! She _____________________ for me. (must + wait)


Rob _____________________ all day last week. (hike)


In January, I _____________________ at my brother’s again. (live)


I _____________________ because I just fell off my bike! (cry)


How long _____________________ there before they fired him? (he + work)


What _____________________ since you graduated? (you + do)


Who _____________________ to when I saw you? (you + talk)


She _____________________ all morning, give her a break! (study)


Do you have any questions about the continuous aspect? Ask us in the comments!