Chapter 2: Present Progressive

Shopping for Food

Overhead photo of a very busy supermarket: cashregisters and customers

Icon for Student Learning GoalsLearning Goals

At the end of this chapter you should be able to:

Recognize and use the present progressive:

  • in the affirmative and negative
  • with contractions
  • with yes/no questions and short answers
  • with information questions using appropriate wh-question words
  • with time expressions
  • with the correct spelling

Prepare Icon: Head with lightbulbPrepare

 

Activity 2.1: Prereading

At Checkout Buying Groceries

Directions: Look at the picture. What do you see? Write the words below.

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

 

Activity 2.2: Prereading

Directions: Discuss the following questions with a partner.

1. Where do you go grocery shopping?

2. How often do you go grocery shopping?

3. What do you buy at the grocery store?

4. How do you get to the grocery store? Do you walk, go by car, or by bus?


Icon for Read-chapter storyReadMan Hugging Woman while Holding Umbrella

Directions: Read this story out loud with a partner. One person reads a paragraph, then the other person reads the next paragraph. When you are finished, read the story again. This time, read the paragraphs you did not read.

 

Viktor and Tatiana Are Grocery Shopping

       Viktor and Tatiana are from Ukraine. They are married. They are students at Clackamas Community College, and they are taking ESL classes this term. They are studying English, so they can get jobs. They are not working now.

       Today, they need* to go to the grocery store. Right now, it is 3:00 pm. They are walking to the grocery store. It is raining hard. Viktor is holding an umbrella, so they are not getting wet.

       It is now 3:15 pm. They are shopping for food and talking about their English classes. Tatiana remembers, “Oh! We need* pencils and paper.” Viktor says, “I want* some erasers, too.”

       Now, at 3:45 pm, they are waiting in line at checkout. The man at the front of the line is writing a check. He is not paying cash. The baby in the cart behind them is crying.

       At 3:55 pm, it is their turn. They are buying food and school supplies. A young man is putting their groceries in paper bags. Tatiana is paying with cash. The cashier is giving them change and the receipt.

It is 4:00 pm now. They are walking home. At this moment, it is not raining, and the sun is shining. They are smiling.

Snapshot-a look into future grammar*Some verbs like “need” and “want” are called stative verbs. They show a state of being, not an action. Stative verbs are not used in the progressive tenses. You will learn more about stative verbs in Chapter 4.

Activity 2.3: Comprehension

Directions: Answer the questions about the story.

1. Where are Viktor and Tatiana from? (Use the BE verb)

___________________________________________________________________

2. Are they working this term? (choose one)

Yes, they are.        No, they aren’t.

3. What are they studying?

___________________________________________________________________

4. What are they doing at 3:00 pm?

___________________________________________________________________

5. What is the weather like?

___________________________________________________________________

6. Are they getting wet? (choose one)

Yes, they are.        No, they aren’t.

7. What does Tatiana remember?

___________________________________________________________________

8. What are they doing at 3:45 pm?

___________________________________________________________________

9. Is the man paying cash? (chose one)

Yes, he is.            No, he isn’t.

10. What are Viktor and Tatiana doing at 4:00 pm?

___________________________________________________________________


Explore-find the grammar on your ownExplore

Activity 2.4: Noticing

Directions: Read the story again. choose (by underlining or otherwise marking) all uses of the present progressive. Then, write three of the verbs used in the story below.

Remember

The present progressive tense has TWO parts: the auxiliary verb BE and the main verb plus -ing.

Example

are taking
1.    _________________
2.   _________________
3.   _________________

Activity 2.5: Try It Out!

Directions: Write three sentences using the verbs you found.

 

1. _________________________________________________________________

2. _________________________________________________________________

3. _________________________________________________________________


Discover-Explanation of grammar topic

Discover

Uses of the Present Progressive

The present progressive is used to talk about an action or situation that is in progress and happening right now. It started in the past and is probably going to continue into the future. We often use time expressions (signal words) to show this: right now, at the/this moment, now.

line graph showing that the action is happening right now

Example

I am learning grammar right now.

It is happening at this moment.

It also shows an action or situation that is continuing for a long period around the present time. There are many expressions that show this: this week, this month, this year, this term.

Example

I am taking English classes this term.

It is happening for an extended period of time.

The present progressive is also used to describe a change or temporary action.

Example

I usually drive to school. This week, I am taking the bus.

Notice that the simple present is used to talk about a habit/routine. The present progressive shows that there is a temporary change.


Time Expressions: Signals Words Used with the Present Progressive

We use time expressions to signal the time that the action is happening. Sometimes we call time expressions signal words.

Examples

  • at the/this moment
  • now
  • right now
  • this week/term/month

At this moment, I am washing the dishes.

My husband is watching a football game right now.

 

Notice in the examples above that time expressions used with the present progressive can come at the beginning of a sentence or at the end of a sentence.

Forms of the Present Progressive

The present progressive is formed by an auxiliary (helping) verb and the main verb. The BE verb is the auxiliary for progressive tenses. It agrees with the subject (the person or thing that performs or completes the action of the verb; the “do-er”) and tells us that we are talking about the present time. The main verb changes by adding -ing to it. The -ing form of the main verb is called the present participle.

To form the present progressive tense, you need two parts of the verb:

auxiliary BE (am, is, are) + present participle (verb+ing)

Auxiliary (Helping) Verb (BE) Present Participle: Main Verb + -ing
am writing
is sleeping
are watching

Activity 2.6: Writing

Directions: Write three 3 sentences using the verbs in the table above and a time expression.

 

1. _________________________________________________________________

2. _________________________________________________________________

3. _________________________________________________________________


Spelling: Present Participle

Spelling in English can be difficult, but there are some rules to follow when forming the present participle.

Rule 1: If the base verb ends in a consonant + 1 vowel + consonant (CVC), double the consonant before adding -ing: hit → hitting. If there are two vowels between the consonants, do NOT double the last consonant: rain → raining.

Base Verb Present Participle
hit hitting
plan planning
run running
stop stopping
swim swimming

Rule 2: NEVER double the consonants w, x, or y (e.g., playing). The n is usually not doubled when verbs end in -en (e.g., happening).

Rule 3: If the base verb ends in an -e, remove it before adding -ing.

Base Verb Present Participle
come coming
ride riding
dance dancing
write writing
leave leaving

Activity 2.7: Complete the Table

Directions: Change the base verbs to the present participle. Use the spelling rules to help you.

Base Verb Present Participle
take 1.
study 2.
get 3.
wait 4.
give 5.
listen 6.
sit 7.
pay 8.
shop 9.
make 10.

Activity 2.8: Fill-in-the-Blank

Part 1 Directions: Complete the sentences with the correct form of the present progressive. Be sure and spell the verbs correctly as described above.

Remember

The present progressive has TWO parts: auxiliary BE and the present participle (the main verb + ing).

Viktor and Tatiana are new to the United States. They are students at Clackamas Community College. They (1. take)_____________________ ESL classes this term. They (2. study)_____________________ English, so they can get jobs. They love their classes. Right now, they (3. walk)_____________________ to the grocery store. It (4. rain) _____________________ hard, so Viktor (5. hold)_____________________  the umbrella to keep them dry.

 

Part 2 Directions: Now go back and choose (by underlining or otherwise marking) the time expressions. There are two.

Activity 2.9: Writing

Directions: Think about what you are doing right now. Work with a partner to write three sentences using the present progressive and time expressions. Every sentence should have a time expression. Check your spelling when you are done.

 

1. _________________________________________________________________

2. _________________________________________________________________

3. _________________________________________________________________


Affirmative-shows all affirmative sentencesAffirmative in the Present Progressive

As noted above, we use the present progressive to talk about things happening now or around this time (extended time). The affirmative tense form is the BE verb + the present participle

subject + BE + present participle

Subject Auxiliary BE Present Participle
I am shopping.
He/She/It is shopping.
You/We/They are shopping.

Activity 2.10: Complete the Table

Directions: Look at the grammar table above and fill in the table below with the missing parts of the sentence.
Subject Auxiliary BE Present Participle
1. am learning. (learn)
2. He is (work)
3. She walking. (walk)
4. is raining. (rain)
5. You are (read)
6. We sitting. (sit)
7. are running. (run)

Affirmative Contractions in the Present Progressive

Contractions in the present progressive are formed just as we learned in Chapter 1. They are very common in spoken English.

Subject Auxiliary BE Present Participle
I'm shopping.
He's
She's
It's
You're
We're
They're

Activity 2.11: Writing

Directions: Take the sentences you completed in Activity 2.10 and write them on lined notebook paper using contractions. Then, write one (1) sentence of your own. Write your name, the date, and Assignment 2.11 at the top of your paper.

Activity 2.12: Writing

Directions: Look at the pictures. Then, answer the questions using the words given to you. Change the verb to the present progressive. Use full forms for odd numbers and contractions for even numbers.

man's hands writing on notepad wood plank table espresso coffee

1. What is the man doing?

he / make a grocery list

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

2 women working at farmer's market stand one hands bag to customer

 

 

 

 

 

2. What is the man doing?

he / buy vegetables

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

Woman with cart shopping at supermarket

 

 

 

 

3. What is the woman doing?

she / look at pineapples

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

Person looking at prices

 

 

 

 

 

4. What is the man doing?

he / compare prices

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

Supermarket checker standing next to check out station

 

 

 

 

 

5. What is the woman doing?

she / wait for customers

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

Man's hand holding a debit card

 

 

 

 

 

6. What is the man doing?

he / pay with a debit card

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

Man in supermarket looking at his list

 

 

 

 

 

7. What is the man doing?

he / check his grocery list

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

People shopping at a farmer's market

 

 

 

 

 

8. What are the people doing?

they / shop at the farmer’s market

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

Supermarket cashier smiling

 

 

 

 

 

9. What is the cashier doing?

she / smile at customers

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

back of man as he walks down supermarket aisle

 

 

 

 

 

10. What is the man doing?

he / walk down the aisle

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

Activity 2.13: Fill-in-the-Blank

Directions: Complete the sentences with the present progressive form of the verb in parentheses.

1. My son (come) _____________________________________home from school now.

2. Right now, I (write)____________________________________ this sentence.

3. At the moment, my wife (sit)________________________________ on the sofa.

4. They (buy)__________________________________ groceries at the market now.

5. This term, we (study)__________________________ the present progressive tense.

6. The girl (do)_____________________________ her homework in the living room.

7. You (think)___________________________about grammar as you do this exercise.

8. The people at this party (wear)_____________________________ beautiful clothes.

9. He (sing)______________________________________ a song in the shower now.

10. This year, my son (play)______________________________________ the violin.

11. The woman (feed)_____________________________________________ her cat.

12. They (give)___________________________________ a reward to the brave man.

13. The boys (draw)_______________________________ pictures in their notebooks.

14. I (carry)_____________________________________ my books to class right now.

15. It (rain)_______________________________________ very hard at the moment.

16. We (listen)_________________________________________ to the radio right now.

17. You (answer)_______________________________________ these questions now.

18. The dog (chew)__________________________________________ a shoe now.

19. The boy’s mother (feel)_____________________________________ sick today.

20. The students (buy)____________________________________ paper this week.

Adapted from: “ESL for Beginning Students: The Way You Like It Basic Beginning Grammar/Writing (Part One of Two)” by Don Bissonnette, licensed under CC BY-NC 4


negative-how to write negative sentencesNegative Statements in the Present Progressive

To make a sentence negative with the present progressive, add not between the auxiliary verb (BE) and the present participle (main verb + ing).

subject + auxiliary BE + not + present participle

Subject Auxiliary BE Not Present Participle
I am not shopping.
He
She
(It)
is
You
We
They
are

Activity 2.14: Complete the Table

Directions: Complete the table. Write the correct verb form for the negative sentences.

Remember:

The auxiliary verb must agree with the subject of the sentence.
Subject am not / is not / are not Rest of Sentence
I watching TV right now.
You
She
We
They

Activity 2.15: Writing

Directions: Change the affirmative statements to the negative by adding not.

1. Viktor is working.

___________________________________________________________________

2. Tatiana is learning Japanese.

___________________________________________________________________

3. It is raining.

___________________________________________________________________

4. They are buying a TV.

___________________________________________________________________

5. The sun is shining.

___________________________________________________________________

6. Tatiana is paying with a debit card.

___________________________________________________________________

Negative Contractions in the Present Progressive

Subject Auxiliary BE Not Present Participle
I'm not shopping.
He's
She's
(It's)
He
She
(It)
isn't
You’re
We’re
They’re
not
You
We
They
aren't


Activity 2.16: Writing

Directions: Answer the following questions in the negative. Use complete sentences. Use contractions.

Example

Is she shopping right now?        No, she isn’t shopping right now.

1. Are you riding the bus right now?

___________________________________________________________________

2. Is he taking 5 classes this term?

___________________________________________________________________

3. Are they waiting at the restaurant now?

___________________________________________________________________

4. Is it snowing in Portland today?

___________________________________________________________________

5. Are you biting an apple now?

___________________________________________________________________

6. Is class beginning right now?

___________________________________________________________________

7. Am I driving my car right now?

___________________________________________________________________

8. Are we going to the movies today?

___________________________________________________________________

9. Is Chela feeding her cats right now?

___________________________________________________________________

10. Is the sun shining in Milwaukie today?

___________________________________________________________________

 

Adapted/Source: “ESL for Beginning Students: The Way You Like It Basic Beginning Grammar/Writing (Part One of Two)” by Don Bissonnette is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0


Question-how to make questionsYes/No Questions & Short Answers

Remember

The subject and the verb change places in questions. The auxiliary verb comes first!

Chart showing that you invert the auxiliary and the subject to form a question.
Auxiliary BE Subject Present Participle Short Answers
Am I shopping? Yes, you are.
No, I’m not.
Is he
she
(it)
shopping? Yes, he is.
No, he’s not.
Are you
we
they
shopping? Yes, they are.
No, they’re not.

Activity 2.17: Fill-in-the-Blank

Directions: Make yes/no questions in the present progressive. First, choose a subject. Second, put the verb in parentheses in the present progressive form. Then, finish answering the question with a short answer.

Example

Are you feeling (feel) OK?        No, I’m  not.

1.  _______  _______  _______ (go) to the grocery store?    No, _______  _______.

2.  _______  _______  _______ (take) English classes?         Yes, _______  _______.

3.  _______  _______  _______ (feed) the dog?                      No, _______  _______.

4.  _______  _______  _______ (do) homework?                   Yes, _______  _______.

5.  _______  _______  _______ (eat) at home?                       No, _______  _______.

6.  _______  _______  _______ (drive) to the market?         Yes, _______  _______.

7.  _______  _______  _______ (watch) a movie?                   No, _______  _______.

8.  _______  _______  _______ (make) dinner?                      Yes, _______  _______.

9.  _______  _______  _______ (buy) a ticket?                        No, _______  _______.

10. _______  _______  _______ (pay) with cash?                    Yes, _______  _______.

Game IconActivity 2.18: Game

Directions: Your instructor will give you a card, and put you in groups. Act out what is shown on the card for your team. Your team members will guess what you are doing by asking a question in the present progressive. For example, they will ask, “Are you washing dishes?” If they guess correctly, you will say, “Yes, I am.” If they are incorrect, you will say, “No, I’m not,” and they can guess again.

Information Questions in the Present Progressive

The formation of information questions is the same as yes/no questions. Add the question word (e.g. who, where, what, why, when, how) to the beginning of the question.

wh- + auxiliary BE + subject + present participle

Wh- Question Word Auxiliary
BE
Subject Present Participle
Why am I shopping?
Where is he
she
(it)
shopping?
When are you
we
they
shopping?

Activity 2.19: Listening

Directions: Your instructor is going to read some questions. Write what you hear on the lines.

1. ________________________________________________________________

2. ________________________________________________________________

3. _________________________________________________________ a nap?

4. _____________________________________________________ to school?

5. _________________________________________________________ home?

6. ________________________________________________________________

Activity 2.20: Fill-in-the-Blank

Directions: Read the phone conversations between Viktor and Tatiana. Look at the answer and the words in parentheses to complete the questions. Don’t forget to add a question
mark (?) at the end. When you are done, practice the dialogues with your partner.

Conversation 1:

Tatiana:    (what / you / do)

______________________________________________________

Viktor:        I’m cutting out coupons.

Tatiana:    (why / you / cut out coupons)

______________________________________________________

Viktor:        I want to save money at the grocery store.

Conversation 2:

Viktor:        (what / you / do)

______________________________________________________

Tatiana:    I’m making dinner.

Viktor:        (what / you / make)

______________________________________________________

Tatiana:    I’m making cabbage soup.

Viktor:        Great! I’m hungry!

Conversation 3:

Viktor:        (what / you / do)

______________________________________________________

Tatiana:    I’m studying.

Viktor:        (where / you / study)

______________________________________________________

Tatiana:    I’m studying at the library right now.


Review IconReview

Activity 2.21: Listening

Directions: Read the paragraph. Then, listen to your instructor read the paragraph. Listen for the missing words. Write the missing words on the lines.

Ana and Pedro want to have a picnic. They (1)____________________ to a nice park by the river. They (2)____________________ the warm weather today. Now, they (3)______________ a blanket on the grass to sit on. Also, they (4)____________________ the food on the blanket. A few minutes later, Pedro (5)____________________ photos with his phone. Ana asks, “Why (6)____________________ so many photos?”  “I (7)____________________ them to Mom. She misses us,” he replies. “Yes, I miss her, too,” says Ana. They (8)____________________ to music, and they (9)____________________ about their mom’s cooking.

Activity 2.22: Error Correction

Directions: There are 8 mistakes in the paragraph below. Find the mistakes with the present progressive and correct them. The mistakes can be missing verb parts, word order, or verb agreement.

Remember

The present progressive has two parts: the auxiliary BE and the present participle.

My name is Carlos. Right now I sitting in class. I am learn about grammar. The teacher talk about the present progressive. She is not talk about the simple present. Maria and Lourdes listening. Why Tan’s cell phone is ringing? Outside, a few students is playing soccer. Mohammad watch them.

Activity 2.23: Fill-in-the-Blank

Directions: Fill in the present progressive verb form for each sentence or question.

1. We (study)___________________________________________ grammar this quarter.

2. My son (not drive)_______________________________ to the supermarket right now.

3. It (rain)___________________________________________________________ now.

4. The boy and his friends (walk)_____________________ to the store to buy some milk.

5. I (not listen)________________________________________ to the radio at this time.

6. My daughters (not take)_________________________________ guitar lessons today.

7. I (not plant)_____________________________________ tomatoes in my garden now.

8. The sun (shine)___________________________________________________ today.

9. Students (learn)____________________________ the present progressive tense now.

10. (look)_______________________ she __________________________ for her key?

11. How (do)___________________________ they ______________________?

12. (cook)________________ we ___________________ for twelve or fourteen people?

13. What (make)___________________ you ____________________ for dinner tonight?

14. Where (study)_____________ the student ________________ today?

15. The baseball player (not play)_____________________________ in the game today.

16. The boy and girl (not help)____________________________ their mom clean today.

17. (watch)___________________ you ______________________ television right now?

18. Why (eat)________________________ he ________________________ right now?

19. (look)_________________ the students _____________________ at them right now?

20. He (work)_______________________________________________________ now.

Adapted/Source: “ESL for Beginning Students: The Way You Like It Basic Beginning Grammar/Writing (Part One of Two)” by Don Bissonnette is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0

Write-End of chapter writing assignmentWrite 

Directions: Write a paragraph about your morning activities using the present progressive tense.

Format:

  • Use your own 8.5″ x 11″ lined paper. Do not use other paper sizes, please.
  • Heading: Put your full name, the due date, and Chapter 2 Writing Assignment at the top of your paper. Your instructor will tell you where the heading goes (left or right side).
  • Indent the first sentence, skip lines (double space), and leave a 1-inch margin on the sides and bottom.

Writing and Grammar: 

  • First sentence: Begin writing by using this topic sentence: It is morning, and I am doing many things.
  • Imagine that it is morning time. Write a paragraph about things you are doing and things you are not doing in the morning.
  • Write 5 affirmative sentences using the present progressive.
  • Write 5 negative sentences using the present progressive.
  • Use full forms; do not use contractions.
  • Use capital letters and punctuation correctly.
  • Use the rubric below to check your work.

Assignment Rubric:

Heading: Full Name, Due Date, and Ch. 2 Writing Assignment 1 point
Format: Indent, double space, margins 1 point
Every sentence has a subject and verb & they agree 1 point
There are 5 affirmative sentences using the present progressive 5 points
There are 5 negative sentences using the present progressive 5 points
Correct use of spelling 1 point
Correct use of capital letters 1 point
Correct end punctuation 1 point
Total points 16

Model Paragraph:

My Morning Activities

       It is morning and I am doing many things. I am drinking coffee. I am not drinking tea. I am watching the news. I am taking a shower. I am getting dressed. I am not ironing my clothes. I am cooking breakfast. Now I am washing the breakfast dishes. I am not washing the car. I am leaving for work. I am not going to the gym. I am not taking a vacation.


Self AssessmentSelf-Assessment

These were our goals at the beginning of Chapter 2:

Recognize and use the present progressive:

    • in the affirmative and negative
    • with contractions
    • with yes/no questions and short answers
    • with information questions using appropriate wh-question words
    • with time expressions
    • with the correct spelling

Directions: Choose “yes” or “no” in the table below if you think you have achieved the goals. Write an example of the goal in the last column.

I can... I achieved this goal: My example:
write affirmative sentences. yes

no

I am studying.
write negative sentences. yes

no

use contractions. yes

no

write yes/no questions. yes

no

answer yes/no questions using short answers. yes

no

write information questions using wh- question words. yes

no

use time expressions. yes

no

use correct spelling. yes

no

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Explorations 1: Grammar for the Experienced Beginner by Susan Caisse, Jennifer Rueda, and Kristee Emens-Hesslink is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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