Olivera Matović

Simplify Your Business English: The Present Continuous Tense

In the realm of business, where every conversation and written communication can impact your professional image, mastering various English grammar tenses is paramount. In brief, the Present Continuous tense is essential.

The Present Continuous, with its specific construction and usage, is particularly useful for describing ongoing actions, plans, and events in the business world. This comprehensive guide is designed to help you with your business English and enable you to grasp the nuances of the Present Continuous tense to communicate more effectively in your daily professional interactions.

If you are uncertain about your current knowledge, you can test your English level for free, with this short English for Success test.

What is the Present Continuous Tense?

The Present Continuous, also known as the Present Progressive tense, is used to describe:

  • Actions happening at the moment of speaking.
  • Temporary actions.
  • Future plans or arrangements.
  • Situations that are gradually changing.

Forming the Present Continuous Tense

The Present Continuous tense is formed using the Present Tense of the verb “to be” (am/is/are) followed by the -ing form of the main verb and object.

present continuous tense building-građenje - business English/poslovni engleski


  • I am attending a conference.
  • You are attending a conference.
  • He/She/It is attending a conference.
  • We are attending a conference.
  • You are attending a conference.
  • They are attending a conference.

Negative Sentences in Present Continuous Tense

To form a negative sentence in the Present Continuous, add -not after the auxiliary verb (am, is, are).


  • I am not attending a conference.
  • You are not attending a conference.
  • He/She/It is not attending a conference.
  • We are not attending a conference.
  • You are not attending a conference.
  • They are not attending a conference.


Questions in the Present Continuous are formed by inverting the order of the subject and the form of “to be.”


  • Am I attending a conference?
  • Are you attending a conference?
  • Is he/she/it attending a conference?
  • Are we attending a conference?
  • Are you attending a conference?
  • Are they attending a conference?

Spelling Rules in Present Continuous Tense

In the Present Continuous, the spelling rules are relatively straightforward:

For most verbs:

Add -ing to the base form of the verb.


  • She is working on a new project.

For verbs ending in -e:

Drop the -e before adding -ing.


  • He is writing (write becomes writing) an email to his client.

For one-syllable verbs, that end with consonant + vowel + consonant pattern:

Double the last consonant and then add -ing


  • “He’s swimming (swim becomes swimming) in the sea.”

For verbs ending in a consonant + vowel + consonant pattern, with the final syllable being stressed:

Double the final consonant before adding -ing if the stress is on the final syllable.


  • I am sitting (sit becomes sitting) at my desk, waiting for the meeting to start.

For verbs ending in -ie:

Change the -ie to -y before adding -ing.


  • She is lying (lie becomes lying) about her role in the project.

Key Uses of the Present Continuous

Understanding the Present Continuous is crucial for effective communication in English. Let’s explore its key uses:

present continuous tense in business English/poslovni engleski

Actions Happening Now:


  • “I am writing an email to a client.”

Temporary Situations:


  • “She is staying at a hotel while her house is being renovated.”

Future Plans and Arrangements:


  • “We are meeting with investors next Monday.”

Annoying or Irritating Habits:


  • “He is always interrupting me during meetings.”

Temporary Habits:


  • “She’s swimming a lot these days.”

Key Uses of the Present Continuous Tense in Business English

Describing Current Projects and Tasks

The Present Continuous is perfect for discussing what you or your team are currently working on, highlighting ongoing efforts and dedication.


  • “We are implementing a new strategy to increase market share.”

Indicating Temporary Actions or Changes

Use the Present Continuous to describe temporary situations or changes within your company, project, or industry.


  • “Our company is currently expanding into Asian markets.”

Discussing Future Arrangements

The Present Continuous tense is often used to talk about meetings, calls, and business trips that are arranged for the near future.


  • “I am meeting with potential clients next Thursday.”

Highlighting Trends

In presentations or reports, the Present Continuous can describe trends and changes that are happening now.


  • “The tech industry is rapidly evolving.”

Wrapping It Up

The Present Continuous might just be the secret sauce to making your business English clearer and more direct. It’s like telling a story as it’s unfolding, which can be pretty engaging and informative in the professional world. Dive in, give it a go, and watch how it changes the game for your daily communication.

Remember, it’s not about sounding like a textbook; it’s about communicating effectively. So, keep it simple, practice often, and let the Present Continuous tense work its magic in your business interactions.

If you are in need of someone to guide you in this exciting journey, feel free to book a short consultation with English for Success.