Progressive Tense

Progressive Tense Explained with Examples

The Progressive Tense shows actions happening continuously, now, in the past, or in the future. The structure to form this verb tense is: be verb + verb–ing.

The progressive tense has three aspects which include the following:

1.   Present Progressive

The present progressiveOpens in new window tense shows action that is continuously in progress right now. In English, now can mean this period, today, this month, this season, this century, etc. and so on.

Examples include:
  • John is studying English tenses right now.
  • Right now, Geoffrey is reading his bible.

2.   Past Progressive

The past progressiveOpens in new window tense expresses action that was continuously in progress in the past, when another action happened. This verb tense is used to indicate that a longer action in the past was interrupted.

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Examples include:
  • We were painting the wall when the fire started.
  • Joel was walking when he was suddenly hit by the motorcycle.
  • I was sleeping, when the rain started falling.

3.   Future Progressive

The future progressiveOpens in new window tense shows that an action will be continuously in progress at a future time. This verb tense is used to indicate that a longer action in the future will be interrupted by a shorter action in the future.

Adverbs or adverbial phrases like tomorrow morning and this time tomorrow are often used with this verb tense. Future tense of the be verb (will be) + verb–ing is used to construct this verb tense.

Examples include:
    I will be working on the programming language this time tomorrow.
  • This time Monday morning, I will be resuming in the office.
  • Gretchen will be playing for the Tigress this time tomorrow.