Archive for April, 2011

Progressive verbs forms

April 29th, 2011 in Improve English

Simple progressive verb forms (also called continuous verb forms) are made with be + -ing.

I am waiting for you.
He is working in the garden.
The children are playing in the park.
She is arriving by the morning flight.

The passive forms of progressive verb forms are made with be + being + past participle.

Your order is being executed.
The coat is being cleaned.
The matter is being discussed.

Perfect progressive forms are made with have been + -ing.

I have been waiting for two hours.
It has been raining since morning.


Progressive verb forms are used to talk about temporary and ongoing actions or events. Note that we do not usually use progressive verb forms to talk about completed or permanent actions or events. Those meanings are usually expressed with simple or perfect verb forms.


I have finished the work. (Completed action)
I have read the novel. (Completed action)
I am reading the novel. (Ongoing action)
Who is standing at the gate? (Temporary situation)
The castle stands on a hill above the city. (Permanent situation)

The progressive verb forms are sometimes used to talk about a short momentary action. In that case it usually suggests the idea of repetition.

Why are you jumping up and down?