Present Progressive (or Continuous) for Situations that Are in Progress

As you probably know, you can use present progressive for situations that are happening now.

Example: What am I doing now?

I am writing an article.

What are you doing right now?
You are reading this article.


You can also use present progressive when you’re not talking about this moment exactly, but about a certain period of time when something is happening. For instance you will use this tense when you describe an event that is taking place, or a development that is slowly happening. The event can happen this month, this summer, or this year.

Here are some examples:
1 The cost of housing is going up.

2 The student essays are improving.

3 Are the prices of mobile phones decreasing?

4 The prices of vegetables aren’t rising that much.

In all these examples, something is developing. In sentence 1, the prices are moving all the time.

In sentence 2, there is improvement this month, and next week the essays will be better still.

In sentence 3, prices are going down at the moment, and they will be going down in the next period.

In sentence 4, the prices aren’t moving that much these days. So they weren’t rising last week, not today and not in the next week.


Fill in the gaps by using the present progressive form of one of the verbs given. You can use each word only once.

get become increase help turn drop grow try go

Do this quiz online here.

1 Your baby __________ fast!

2 We ___________ to solve the problems in our customer service centre.

3 The students _____________ their knowledge of Shakespeare’s poetry during this course.

4 Children __________ more obese because they drink too many soft drinks.

5 We ___________ wiser, but also older.

6 The fuel prices __________ up all the time!

7 The water level in our lake __________ because it doesn’t rain enough.

8 ______ the government financial policies _________ to lower inflation?

9 The weather __________ colder. I’ll need my winter coat soon.

Note: Instead of saying “is growing” or “are getting” you can also use “keep.” Examples: The cost of housing keeps going up.

The student essays keep improving.

It means exactly the same.

Did you like this quiz? There are hundreds more on the website of English with a Smile. You can also become an exclusive member and get quizzes that are will help you get better English fast, for a small fee.

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