Present participle used in continuous tense.

The present participle follows the helping verb/auxiliary verb to be to form present (isare) or past (waswere) continuous tenses to indicate an action that is or was still continuing. The combination of the auxiliary verb and present participle forming the continuous tense is known as compound verb shown here in bold.




  • The whole family is watching the sun set..

  • She has burned the potatoes.  

    (The first sentence has the present participle watching used with the auxiliary verb is to indicate present action. The second sentence shows a past action with the past participle burned, coming after the auxiliary verb has.)

  • She is flying a heart-shaped kite.

  • The dogs are barking at each other.

  • The patient was moaning loudly with pain.

  • Dark clouds were gathering in the sky. 




Participles and Verb Tenses. 



Compound verbs show the tenses of the verbs.

  • He is writing a story of a monkey that behaves like a human being. (Present continuous tense)
  • They swear they are going to kill him if they ever find him. (Present continuous tense)
  • The same gang has kidnapped the rich man’s daughter twice for ransoms. (Present perfect tense)
  • Farmer Brown believes snakes have swallowed twenty of his chickens in a week. (Present perfect tense)
  • They had been arguing endlessly before their divorce. (Past continuous tense)
  • The late professor had gone in that cave many times to photograph bats. (Past perfect tense)
  • Kate had known her pet cat would die before it died. (Past perfect tense)
  • Both of us will be doing the yoga this evening. (Future continuous tense)
  • We will have visited him if we know he was flown to hospital by helicopter. (Future perfect tense)