Progressive Verb Tenses

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Progressive Verb Tenses

The progressive verb tense shows us a continuous action that is ongoing. They are also known as Continuous Verb Tenses.

They tell us exactly when an ongoing action will be occurring in time.

What are the Progressive Verb Tenses?

There are three different Progressive Verb Tenses in the English language - past progressive, present progressive, and future progressive.

Here are examples of each:

InfinitivePast ProgressivePresent ProgressiveFuture Progressive
to runI was running.I am running.I will be running.
to thinkHe was thinking.He is thinking.He will be thinking.
to eatWe were eating.We are eating.We will be eating.

How Do You Form Progressive Verb Tenses?

Forming progressive tense is quite easy!

There are two parts:    TO BE verb form    and    base word + -ING

TO BE forms

As a refresher, here are the forms of TO BE

Person Singular Plural
First I amWe are
Second You areYou (all) are
Third He/she/it isThey are

Suffix -ING

All you need is the suffix -ING and you can form a progressive tense.

Here are some examples:

to drawdraw  +-ING  =drawing
to hearhear  +-ING  =hearing
to sleepsleep  +-ING  =sleeping

HINT! Be sure to follow spelling rules for suffixes when using -ING!

Conjugating Progressive Verb Tenses

Present Progressive - am, is, & are

<______________I___happening now________I_________>

Present Progressive tells us what is happening right now as a continuous action.

Person Singular Plural
FirstI am walking.We are walking.
SecondYou are walking.You (all) are walking.
ThirdHe/she/it is walking.They are walking.

Past Progressive - was & were

<__was happening______I_____________________I_________>

Past Progressive tells us what was happening before as a continuous action.

Person Singular Plural
FirstI was walking.We were walking.
SecondYou were walking.You (all) were walking.
ThirdHe/she/it was walking.They were walking.

Future Progressive - will be

<______________I_____________________I__will be happening___>

Future Progressive tells us what will be happening in the future as a continuous action.

Person Singular Plural
FirstI will be walking.We will be walking.
SecondYou will be walking.You (all) will be walking.
ThirdHe/she/it will be walking.They will be walking.

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