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Present Continuous Tense #3, by Dennis Oliver


Present Continuous Tense #3



One important way to use the present continuous tense is
in referring to actions or situations that are happening now.
These actions / situations began before now and will continue
after now, but they're temporary and are expected to continue
for only a short time.



Another important way to use the present continuous tense is
in referring to actions which are longer, but still temporary.


He's driving a rental car while his own car is in the shop.
(He won't need the rental car after his car has been repaired).

We're temporarily living in a motel. We'll stay there until
we find an apartment.

She's working in Chicago this month (but will work
somewhere else later).

They're studying in an exchange program in Greece this year
(but will return home at the end of the year).

He's currently studying ESL, but he hopes to be able to enter
the university soon.

The time, in sentences such as those above, may be a week,
a month, a year, or even longer. What's important is that the
action or situation is not expected to be permanent: instead,
it's temporary and it is expected to change.



Some time phrases that are common with this
usage of the
present continuous tense are


for the time being


this _____


He's temporarily living with his parents (but plans to
move to his own place soon).

They're currently studying at the Universityof Texas
(but won't stay there forever).

She's taking the bus to work for the time being (but will
use another form of transportation as soon as she can).

She's visiting her grandparents this week (but will return
home at the end of the week).

She's finishing her studies this year (and will not study
next year).

He's currently working as a dishwasher (but hopes to get
a better job as soon as he can).


The action or situation in sentences like those above may be
for a long period of time (a week, a month, a year), but it is
temporary, not permanent, and is expected to change.


Next: still another use for the present
continuous tense
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