The present progressive tense

Look at the following examples:
  • Where is Mum? – She is taking Julia to her dancing lesson.
  • What are you doing? – I am doing my homework.
  • Are you busy? – Yes, sorry, I am just talking to my boyfriend on the phone.
  • We can't make lunch because the cleaning lady is cleaning the kitchen right now.
  • Usually I don't have dinner at a restaurant, but today I am meeting an old friend for dinner.
Take another look at the examples above. Then try to answer the following questions. When you answer the second question, more than one answer is possible.

Die Verlaufsform der Gegenwart

Wirf einen Blick auf die folgenden Beispiele:
  • Where is Mum? – She is taking Julia to her dancing lesson.
  • What are you doing? – I am doing my homework.
  • Are you busy? – Yes, sorry, I am just talking to my boyfriend on the phone.
  • We can't make lunch because the cleaning lady is cleaning the kitchen right now.
  • Usually I don't have dinner at a restaurant, but today I am meeting an old friend for dinner.
Schau dir noch einmal die obigen Beispiele an. Dann versuche, die folgenden Fragen zu beantworten. Wenn du die zweite Frage beantwortest, ist mehr als eine Antwort möglich.
 
 
  1. How do you form the present progressive tense? Tipp
     
    • infinitive form of a verb
       
    • form of to be (am/is/are) + verb + -ing
       
     
  2. When do you use the present progressive tense?
     
    • to say that something (usually an action) is a regular routine, event or a fact
       
    • to express that something is happening out of the ordinary
       
    • to talk about something that is happening and has not finished yet
       
    • to describe what someone is doing at the moment of speech or around the time of speech
       
    • to talk about a fact or a state like feelings, likes and dislikes
       
     
 
 

Positive statements

To form a positive statement using the present progressive, use the form of to be am/is/are + the verb + -ing:
  • The farmer's wife is just feeding the hens.
  • They are going downtown to see a movie.
  • I am reading a very interesting book at the moment.
  • She is looking for her set of keys.
However, there are some exceptions concerning some groups of verbs:
If you use verbs that end with an -e like to come, to make, to take, to brake, to bake, to save, you have to leave out the -e when adding -ing:
  • to take She is taking her son to the doctor.
  • to come The family is coming down the street right now.
  • to bake I am baking a cake.
  • to save We are saving money to buy a new car.
If you use verbs that end with -ie like to lie, to die, you have to change the -ie into y when adding -ing:
  • to lie I think he is lying to me.
If you use verbs that end with a short vowel + a consonant like -m, -n, -p, -t like to run, to hop, to cut, to shut, you have to double the consonant when adding -ing:
  • to run The kids are running around the yard.
  • to hop They are hopping around the room like rabbits.
  • to cut She is cutting out something.
Now practise the present progressive tense. Read the sentences below and choose the correct forms.

Bejahte Aussagen

Um eine bejahte Aussage in der Verlaufsform der Gegenwart zu formulieren, nutze die Form von to be am/is/are + das Verb + -ing:
  • The farmer's wife is just feeding the hens.
  • They are going downtown to see a movie.
  • I am reading a very interesting book at the moment.
  • She is looking for her set of keys.
Es gibt jedoch einige Ausnahmen bezüglich mancher Verbgruppen:
Wenn du Verben benutzt, die auf ein -e enden, wie to come, to make, to take, to brake, to bake, to save, musst du das -e weglassen, wenn du -ing anhängst:
  • to take She is taking her son to the doctor.
  • to come The family is coming down the street right now.
  • to bake I am baking a cake.
  • to save We are saving money to buy a new car.
Wenn du Verben benutzt, die auf -ie enden, wie to lie, to die, musst du das -ie zu y abändern, wenn du -ing anhängst:
  • to lie I think he is lying to me.
Wenn du Verben benutzt, die auf einen kurzen Vokal + einen Konsonanten wie -m, -n, -p, -t enden, wie to run, to hop, to cut, to shut, musst du den Konsonanten verdoppeln, wenn du -ing anhängst:
  • to run The kids are running around the yard.
  • to hop They are hopping around the room like rabbits.
  • to cut She is cutting out something.
Übe nun die Verlaufsform der Gegenwart. Lies die unten stehenden Sätze und wähle die richtige Form.
 
 
  1.  John 
     to his brother right now.

     
  2.  I 
     on the computer.

     
  3.  Julia 
     the door.

     
  4.  Tom and Tobi 
     a movie.

     
  5.  At the moment I 
     a letter to my friend.

     
  6.  Usually we meet our parents on Sunday, but this week we 
     them on Saturday.

     
 
 
Watch out! Some verbs are never used in the present progressive tense! These are:
  • to be, to seem
  • to like, to dislike, to love, to hate
  • to wish, to want
  • to see, to notice
Also, there are some signal words that indicate that you need to use the present progressive tense. These are:
  • right now, now
  • at the moment
  • just
  • at present
  • currently
  • Look!

Negative statements

To negate a statement, you just negate the form of "to be" using the word not:
  • They are not going downtown to see a movie.
  • I am not reading a very interesting book at the moment.
  • The kids are not running around the yard.
  • I think he is not lying to me.
  • She is not taking her son to the doctor.
If you want to read again how exactly to negate the forms of "to be" or how to use the short forms, click here.
Practise negative statements using the present progressive tense. Just negate the positive statements that are given.
Vorsicht! Einige Verben werden nie in der Verlaufsform der Gegenwart gebraucht! Diese sind:
  • to be, to seem
  • to like, to dislike, to love, to hate
  • to wish, to want
  • to see, to notice
Darüberhinaus gibt es einige Signalwörter, die dir anzeigen, dass du die Verlaufsform der Gegenwart gebrauchen musst. Diese sind:
  • right now, now
  • at the moment
  • just
  • at present
  • currently
  • Look!

Verneinte Aussagen

Um eine Aussage zu verneinen, verneinst du einfach die Form von "to be", indem du das Wort not benutzt:
  • They are not going downtown to see a movie.
  • I am not reading a very interesting book at the moment.
  • The kids are not running around the yard.
  • I think he is not lying to me.
  • She is not taking her son to the doctor.
Wenn du noch einmal nachlesen möchtest, wie man genau die Form von "to be" verneint, oder wie man Kurzformen benutzt, klicke hier.
Übe verneinte Aussagen in der Verlaufsform der Gegenwart. Verneine dazu die gegebenen bejahten Aussagesätze.
 
 
  1.  We are fighting all the time these days.
     
    Tipp
     .

     
  2.  The weather is getting better.
     
    Tipp
     .

     
  3.  I am having fun at this party!
     
    Tipp
     .

     
  4.  Politicians are having a hard time these days.
     
    Tipp
     .

     
  5.  He is taking the garbage outside.
     
    Tipp
     .

     
 
 

Yes-no-questions

You pose a yes-no-question using the present progressive in the same way as you would pose a yes-no-question with "to be". If you can't remember the rules, click here.
Just change the word order of the sentence. The question has the following word order: Form of to be + noun/pronoun (+ adverb) + verb + -ing + ….? If you look at the question closely, you can see that you only switch the subject of the sentence and the form of "to be":
  • The weather is getting better. Is the weather getting better?
  • He is taking the garbage outside. Is he taking the garbage outside?
  • The kids are running around the yard. Are the kids running around the yard?
It's the same with negative statements and yes-no-questions:
  • The weather is not getting better. Is the weather not getting better?
  • He is not taking the garbage outside. Is he not taking the garbage outside?
  • The kids are not running around the yard. Are the kids not running around the yard?

Wh-questions

Click here to read how to pose a Wh-question. Here are some examples of Wh-questions using the present progressive:
  • What are you doing?
  • Where are you going?
  • Who is calling?

Entscheidungsfragen

Du stellst eine Entscheidungsfrage in der Verlaufsform der Gegenwart genau so wie du eine Entscheidungsfrage mit "to be" formulierst. Wenn du dich nicht mehr an die Regeln erinnern kannst, klicke hier.
Ändere einfach die Satzstellung des Satzes. Die Frage hat folgende Satzstellung: Form von to be + Nomen/Pronomen (+ Adverb) + Verb + -ing + ….? Wenn du dir die Frage genau anschaust, kannst du sehen, dass du nur das Subjekt des Satzes mit der Form von "to be" tauschst:
  • The weather is getting better. Is the weather getting better?
  • He is taking the garbage outside. Is he taking the garbage outside?
  • The kids are running around the yard. Are the kids running around the yard?
Es ist genau das selbe mit verneinten Aussagen und Entscheidungsfragen:
  • The weather is not getting better. Is the weather not getting better?
  • He is not taking the garbage outside. Is he not taking the garbage outside?
  • The kids are not running around the yard. Are the kids not running around the yard?

Fragen mit Wh-Fragewörtern

Klicke hier, um nachzulesen, wie man eine Frage mit Wh-Fragewörtern stellt. Hier sind einige Beispiele für Fragen mit Wh-Fragewörtern in der Verlaufsform der Gegenwart:
  • What are you doing?
  • Where are you going?
  • Who is calling?
 

Use

You use the present progressive tense in three different cases:
  • to describe what someone is doing at the moment of speech or around the time of speech:
    • Where are the kids? – They are playing outside. At the time when the person asks the question, the kids are playing outside.
  • to talk about something that is happening and has not finished yet:
    • I am reading a really good book at the moment. , The person is reading it at the time, he or she has not finished it yet.
  • to express that something is happening out of the ordinary:
    • Usually we don't spend much money on cars, but this time we are getting a really expensive one.

Verwendung

Du verwendest die Verlaufsform der Gegenwart in drei verschiedenen Fällen:
  • um zu beschreiben, was jemand zum Zeitpunkt des Sprechens oder um den Zeipunkt des Sprechens herum tut:
    • Where are the kids? – They are playing outside. Zu dem Zeitpunkt, zu dem die Person die Frage stellt, spielen die Kinder draußen.
  • um über etwas zu sprechen, das geschieht und noch nicht abgeschlossen ist:
    • I am reading a really good book at the moment. , Die Person liest gerade das Buch, sie hat es noch nicht beendet.
  • um auszudrücken, dass etwas außergewöhnliches passiert:
    • Usually we don't spend much money on cars, but this time we are getting a really expensive one.
 
 
 

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