Present Continuous – temporary situations


Temporary, non-permanent situations for the Present Continuous

An important way to use the present continuous tense is when we refer to actions or situations that are happening now, at this moment.
These actions / situations began before now and will continue after now, but they’re temporary (not permanent situations) and are not expected to continue for a long time. Present continuous now at this moment

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


  • John’s driving his father’s car while his own car is in the workshop.
    (He won’t need his father’s car after his car has been repaired).
  • They’re temporarily living with his Uncle Fred. They’ll stay there until they find an apartment.
  • Julia’s working in Chicago this month (but she will be back in her office in LA next month).
  • I’m studying in Berlin this year
    (but I will return to my language studies in Cambridge at the end of the year).
  • Aisha’s currently improving her English, but she hopes to be able to enter the university in the USA 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.

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The following time phrases are common with this use of the
present continuous tense:

  • for the time being
  • temporarily
  • currently
  • this_(week, month, year etc)____


  • We’re currentlytravelling around Australia
    (but we won’t stay there forever).
  • Maria’s temporarilyliving with her parents (but she plans to
    move to her own place soon).
  • She’s taking the train to university for the time being (but will
     go in the car with classmate as soon as she can).
  • John’s looking after his grandparents this week (but next week his sister is going to help out and he will return home).
  • They’re finishing their studies this year (and will not study
    next year).
  • I am currentlyfilling in for the manager who is away on holiday (but when she returns I’ll go back to my old job).


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 finish soon

The Present continuous or Present progressive is also used for the future but you have to check which verbs are non continuous verbs . Also don’t forget to look at the introduction to the Present Continuous

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