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…
SubjectTo be + notVerb + -ing
Iam notworking
Youare notworking
Heis notworking
Sheis notworking
Itis notworking
Weare notworking
Youare notworking
Theyare notworking

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

  1. The moment of speaking
    • I‘m not eating an apple.
    • She isn’t watching TV at the moment.
    • We aren’t speaking.
  2. Temporary activities
    • I‘m not looking for a new shirt.
    • Paul isn’t working hard to buy new shoes.
    • We aren’t staying in this apartment for 3 weeks.
  3. Planned actions
    • I‘m not leaving early tonight.
    • He isn’t going to the cinema on Friday evening.
    • We aren’t going on holiday at the end of this month.
  4. Changes and tendencies
    • I‘m not getting happier and happier.
    • The world isn’t getting warmer.
    • We aren’t becoming better at volleyball.
  5. Consistency of the events
    • I‘m not always watching the news.
    • He isn’t talking consistently.
    • They are not always having lunch at 14:00.

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

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

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

The structure is:
Subject + to be + not + [verb + -ing] + …

For example:
— “You aren’t eating.” = We use the present continuous to express an action that takes place while talking (in that moment).
♦ “You don’t eat.” = 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.


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