In the previous two quizzes we learnt about the present continuous tense and the past continuous tense. To recap, the present continuous tense is formed by adding the helping verb "to be" (in the present tense - ARE, IS and AM) to the PRESENT PARTICIPLE of the main verb. The past continuous tense is formed by adding the same helping verb ‘to be’ (in the past tense – WAS or WERE) to the PRESENT PARTICPLE of the main verb.
We have also learnt that an interrogative form is expressed by placing the helping verb before the subject and a negative form is expressed by placing ‘NOT’ between the helping verb and the main verb (present participle).
While the present continuous tense is used to describe an action in progress and the continuity of the action or just the continuity of the action, it can also be used to describe an action in progress, but not necessarily at the time of expression. For instance - ‘India IS IMPORTING oil from IRAQ’ or ‘What ARE you READING these days?’.
Similarly, while the past continuous tense is used to describe an action that was happening in the past at the time of expression when the time of action may or may not be expressed, it can also be used, along with simple past tense, to describe a previous action going on when a later action happened - ‘My brother WAS WATCHING TV when I reached home’.
Tenses are easy to master - if you are not tense! Take this quiz and refresh your learning of present and past continuous tenses.