English Grammar Lesson – How to for continuous tenses ( Past, Present & Future)
Hi friends I’m Sonia and I’m back with a new
lesson for you today. Well, this lesson is all about Continuous tenses. It’s all about
how to form continuous tenses. Now quite often I’ve seen that people have a tough time understanding,
How to form a sentence? When talking about an action that was either going on or happening
in the present or will happen in the future? So today we are going to discuss about, how
easy and how simple it is to form continuous tenses? Now do remember sometimes in many
grammar books you would refer to continuous tenses as progressive tenses. So don’t get
confused both continuous and progressive mean absolutely the same thing. Now remember one thing. When you talking about
an continuous action. It can happen in the past, it can happen in the present, it can
also happen in the future. So what we’re gonna start off with is to learn about past continuous
sentences. Now when I say past. What do I mean? I mean that the time has finished and
the action is also complete. However when I say past continuous, I mean that the time
has passed, but the action was going on at that point in time. Now in order to make past
continuous simple for you, I have a trick and that is a good structure of formula that
you could use. And my formula say’s that you put the subject. Now what could be the subject?
Something like I, you, we, they, he, she or someone’s name remember that. A subject always
is a start of a sentence. And then because we are talking about the past, we would use
was or were. After that you would put in the verb and then the ing. So what are verbs?
Verbs are simple action words like go, come, play, eat, watch, sing, etc. So remember guys
past continuous something that was happening in the past. You would use the subject was
or were. The verb and then ing. Now my first example says, “I was eating
breakfast”. Over here I is the subject. Now because I’ve used I, I’m using was. Over here
eat is your verb and then you added ing to it. Which means that I was doing something?
What was I doing? I was eating breakfast. The action was going on in the past. The next
example is, “They were playing football”. Now because I’ve used they as the subject,
I’m using were remember you could use was or were, so with they I’m using were. Play
is your verb and because I was playing or the action was going on, I added ing as simple
as that, so they were playing football. The final one say’s “Peter was preparing a presentation”.
Because I’m using Peter as a subject in this sentence. I’m using was, I’ve done, what I’ve
done here is I’ve contracted prepare plus ing and I say preparing, because the action
was going on at that point in time. If you notice here, because I’ve contracted these
two words the “E” goes off and it becomes preparing. “So he was preparing a presentation”.
In all these three sentences something was going on in the past. Now you can also make
these sentences negative. What if something wasn’t going on or wasn’t happening? Then
how would you change it? Well, that’s even simpler. All you do is, you add the word not.
So for example, I was not eating breakfast. They were not playing football or Peter was
not preparing a presentation. What I can also do guys, I can contract was and not and make
it wasn’t. So let me write that for you. Was plus not becomes wasn’t or I can also contract
were and not and make it weren’t, just like this. So remember if you’re talking about
something that was happening an action that was going on in the past. You can use was
and were, verb and ing. If you want to make it negative, you can add a not and make it
wasn’t. You can add a not to were and make it weren’t. The other thing that you could also keep in
mind is, When do you use was and when do you use were? So if you look at this sentence,”
I was and Peter was”, so with subjects like I, he, she or someone’s name. You would use
was. But if in your subject you have they, you, we, then you would use were. So remember
I, he, she or someone’s name was. You, we, they, would use were. As simple as that, there
you have your past continuous tense. Now if you’ve understood this. We’ll look at how
to form present continuous and the future continuous tenses. So guys just like we looked at the past continuous
tense. What we gonna look at now is the present continuous and the future continuous tenses.
What do I mean when I say present continuous? I mean an action that is going on at the moment
in the current time. Let me write that down for you. So an action which is happening in
the present. Okay remember this. The present continuous also has a similar formula; you’ll
use your subject, If you remember I, you, we, they, he, she, it or someone’s name. You’ll
use is, am or are plus the verb and the ing form as usual. That has to be there because
it is continuous. You would use is, when you using your subject as he, she or someone’s
name. You would use am, when your subject is I. You would use are, when your subject
has you, we or they. Keep this in mind, it’s extremely important. So if you look at my
example for you, “I am watching a movie”. Because I use I, I’ve used am. Watch plus
ing makes this a continuous action going on in the present. How do I know its present?
That’s because of am. Next one, “Joe is cooking dinner”. So I’ve
used the verb cook plus ing. How do I know it’s a present tense? Because of is. Now remember
even here if you want to make these sentences negative simply use the word not, “So I
am not watching a movie”, “Joe is not cooking dinner”. Similarly if you want to make it
shorter, you would say is plus not becomes isn’t. Are plus not becomes aren’t and whenever
you use am there’s no way of contracting it. So it will always be I am not, there’s no
way of shortening that, you can only contract is and not and make it isn’t, Are and not
and make it aren’t. But remember the constant thing is the verb plus the ing to show continuous. The next tense we have is the future continuous.
Now when will you use the future continuous? When you talking about something that is going
to happen some kind of a future plan. So let’s jot that down. This is a future plan. Something
that is going to happen in the coming time. Over here it’s extremely simple, because irrespective
what your subject is, I, you, we, they, he, she, someone’s name. You would always use
will plus be. Remember this little word be is extremely important that’s how the subject
agrees. The subject plus will plus be and one more time your verb plus your ing to indicate
it’s a continuous tense. So for example, “She will be going to the market tomorrow” So if
you noticed will plus the all-important be and I use the verb go plus ing to indicate
going continuous. So she will be doing something, she will be going to the market tomorrow in
the future. The next example, “They will be waiting
for you at the mall”. So even though I’ve used they over here I’ve used she, I’ve
used they here. However remember I told you, you’ll use will everywhere and will be.
You’ve used the verb which is wait plus ing to indicate a continuous action. So they will
be waiting for you at the mall. So this is how you can make present continuous
and future continuous tenses. Similarly if you want to make a future continuous sentence
negative. What will you do? I think you should know by now, you’ll simply add the word not.
So she will not be going to the market tomorrow. And they will not be waiting for you at the
mall. Also you can contract will plus not and make it won’t. Remember you can contract
will and not and make it won’t. As simple as that guys. If you know, if you follow this
particular structure that I’ve given you. It’ll be really easy to form continuous or
progressive tenses. It’s a very important tense, very useful in spoken English. Do make sure that you go through this lesson
thoroughly. Practice your English speaking. I’ll be back soon with a new lesson. Till
then you guys take care. And have a nice day. Bye, bye.