Unit 5.2

Present Continuous Negative



The present continuous (or progressive) is the tense used to express situations that are happening now (before, during and after the moment of speaking).

When expressed in its negative form, the verb denies that something is happening now.


The present continuous, in its negative form, has this structure:
Subject + to be + not + [verb + -ing] + …

  • Short form of the negative form is the same as the short form of to be: I’m not – you’re not/you aren’t – he’s not/he isn’t…
Subject To be + not Verb + -ing
I am not working
You are not working
He is not working
She is not working
It is not working
We are not working
You are not working
They are not working

{For the exceptions see the affirmative form of present continuous}.


  1. Actions happening at the moment of speaking
    • We’re not doing our homework.
    • She isn’t watching TV at the moment.
    • I‘m not using the dictionary.
  2. Actions that are planned for the future
    •  I‘m not fixing the shelves tonight. 
    • He isn’t buying a computer at the weekend. 
    • We are not repeating the class next week. 
  3. Changes and tendencies
    • Im not getting happier and happier.
    • I am not becoming any better at sitting exams.
    • The teaching is not improving her classes.
  4. Consistency of the events
    • I‘m not always doing homework.
    • The student is not asking questions repeatedly.
    • I am not always photocopying worksheets for you!
  5. Temporary activities.
    • He isn’t looking for the map. 
    • I’m not buying some pens.
    • The classmates are not working in groups.


We use present continuous, in its negative form, to deny:

  1. Actions happening at the moment of speaking;
  2. Actions that are planned for the future;
  3. Changes and tendencies;
  4. Consistency of the events;
  5. Temporary activities (that will finish in the future);


The present continuous, in the negative form, is used to deny situations that are going on around the moment of speaking.

When we use the present continuous in its negative form, we start with the subject followed by the verb to be and not and a verb that ends with -ing.

For example:
— “He isn’t working on an important project today.” = We use the present continuous to express an action that takes place while talking (in that moment).
♦ “He doesn’t work on important projects.” = We use the present simple to express an action that happens repeatedly or always in the present.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

More exercises