Present Progressive: Form
To form the present progressive (also know as the present continuous and the durative aspect) we use the –ing form of the verb with the present simple of the primary auxiliary BE:
I am running, you are playing, she is working hard, they are arriving tomorrow.
 Spelling of the –ing form
-ing is added to the first form of the verb: playing, working, understanding,
 Verbs ending in -e
Most verbs ending in single mute -e drop the final –e before –ing, though if word-final –e is preceded by –y, -o or –ng, or if the verb ends in –ee, the –e is retained:
hiring, becoming, reclining but: dyeing, toeing, whingeing, freeing
Polysyllabic verbs ending in –ge generally drop the –e: impinging, infringing
Retention of the –e in AGE is optional: aging or ageing
Verbs ending in –ie change this to –y before –ing: tying, dying
 Verbs ending in a single consonant
Verbs ending in a single consonant letter (except –w, –x , -c and -l ) following a single vowel letter in a stressed syllable double that final consonant before adding the –ing: robbing, knitting, referring but revealing, rowing, boxing.
Verbs ending in –c add -k rather than doubling the –c: picnicking, panicking.
In BrE, word-final –l is always doubled after a short vowel sound, even in unstressed syllables: repelling, levelling, travelling, cancelling
In verbs with a final unstressed syllable ending in –s, some writers double the final –s of the first form before adding the –e; this is optional: biasing or biassing, focusing or focussing
There is no doubling when the final syllable is unstressed: happening, bothering, visiting
However, a small number of verbs double the final consonant even if the final syllable is unstressed. This may be because the final syllable exists as a single-syllable (hence stressed) verb, even if the polysyllabic verb is not actually a compound: programming, handicapping, hiccupping, kidnapping, worshipping.
In informal writing, the parts of BE are often contracted. In speech, apart from formal oratory or to give emphasis, they are normally weakened or elided. In most dialects of BrE the final /r/ of are is not pronounced unless followed by a vowel sound:
I am working, I’m working /aɪjǝmwɜːkɪŋ, aɪmwɜːkɪŋ/
you are working, you’re working /juːwǝ(r)wɜːkɪŋ, jʊə(r)wɜːkɪŋ, jɔː(r)wɜːkɪŋ, jə(r)wɜːkɪŋ/
he is working, he’s working /hiːz wɜːkɪŋ/
they are writing, they’re writing /ðeɪjǝraɪtɪŋ, ðeǝraɪtɪŋ/
 Negative forms and contractions
I am not working I’m not working
you/we/they are not working you/we/they aren’t working you’re/we’re/they’re not working
she is not working she isn’t working she’s not working
 Interrogative forms (with S-V inversion)
am I working? is she working? are you/we/they working?
 Interrogative-negative forms
Except in the most formal speech and writing, the contracted forms are used in constructing negative questions. Note that aren’t I is used in place of *amn’t I
aren’t I working? (am I not working?)
aren’t you/we/they working? (are you/we/they not working? isn’t she working? (is she not working?)
 BE forms
BE is used as alone to replace the full progressive form in:
• Question tags: He’s working hard, isn’t he?
• Short answers: Is Petra coming tonight? - Yes, she is. / No, she isn’t.
• Contracted questions: Mary is living in Germany. Is Alan?
• Contracted follow-up questions: I am really enjoying this weather. - Are you?
• (Dis)agreement comments: They’re playing well today. - Yes they are. / No, they aren’t.