Present Continuous for Now


Use of Present Continuous

The present continuous tense has a number of uses. This section will describe one of the most common ones.

Using the Present Continuous Tense
for “Now” “at this moment”

One use for the present continuous tense is for actions that are happening now. These actions began before now and will continue after now. Although it is not usually important when it started or when it is going to finish.

These actions are temporary and are often for a short time.

They tell us about a moment in time and that moment is around now.


  • He‘s sitting at his desk.
    They‘re running a marathon.
    The sun‘s shining.
    You‘re driving down the highway.
    Im listening to music and writing about English Grammar.

Besides now, other time words and phrases are common with this use of the present continuous tense. Here are some of them:

right now, just now, at the moment, for the time being, and at present:

  • I’m writing right now.
    They’re watching TV at the moment.
    The sun’s shining just now.

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Important additional comment

Please note that the examples above show short temporary actions. They tell us about the situation now:

“The sun’s shining just now.” Tells us at this moment the sun is shining, at the time of speaking it is not important when it started shining or if it normally shines

For the time being

The time phrase for the time being suggests that the action will change soon:

John’s working on a project for the time being.
(He has to present it very soon, he’ll probably not  work on it much longer.)

They’re living with his parents for the time being.
(They’ll probably move into their new house very soon.)

The sun’s shining for the time being.
(There are a lot of clouds and it could stop shining at any time.)

We’re working for the time being.
(We’ll probably stop working very soon.)

I’m listening to music for the time being
(I’ll probably switch off soon, I have a meeting in a few minutes.)

We’re working for the time being.
(We don’t expect to work much longer.)

We have more articles about the Present Continuous/ Present progressive: there is an  introduction to the present Continuous which shows how to form the verb form , there is also one that shows how we use the present continuous for the future. Other things to consider are how the present continuous is used for temporary situations and which verbs are considered non continuous verbs although some of these  have different meanings in the continuous and non continuous

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