Updated: Jan 17
This page is intended to be a resource for English learners and teachers. You can practice answering these present continuous (also known as present progressive) discussion questions by yourself or with a partner. You can also write the answers in a notebook, in a digital document, or in the comments section below. To help learners feel more confident and to develop grammatical accuracy, the warm-up questions have some suggested answer beginnings, which makes them ideal for beginners. For more challenging questions, move on to the "Let's go!" section.
Recommended levels: beginner for "Warm-up" questions; upper intermediate/advanced for majority of "Let's go!" questions.
subject + "be" conjugation + (not) verb+ing
"We are waiting for the bus."
"I'm playing video games with my son."
"She's talking to her mom."
"They're not having a good time." / "They aren't having a good time." / "They are not having a good time."
Open question structure
Known subject: Wh- question word + "be" conjugation + subject + (not) verb+ing
"Where are you going?"
"What is he drinking?"
"How are you doing?"
"Why aren't they working?" / "Why are they not working?"
Unknown/Open subject: Who/What/Which one + "be" conjugation + (not) verb+ing
"Who's paying for dinner?"
"Which one is making that noise?"
"Which store is closing in an hour?"
"Who's not coming?" / "Who isn't coming?" / "Who is not coming?"
Yes/No question structure
"be" conjugation + subject + (not) verb+ing
"Are you kidding?"
"Are they leaving soon?"
"Is he reading or playing with his phone?"
"Aren't you going?" / "Are you not going?" (formal)
How are you doing today?
I'm doing [well/fine/okay/...]. You?
What are you doing right now? Are you busy?
Right now, I'm...
What are you thinking about right now?
Right now, I'm thinking about...
Think about a friend or a family member. What do you think they're doing right now?
I think my _____ is probably [verb+ing] right now.
What are you doing tomorrow? (present continuous for future)
Take a look at the picture below. What are the people doing?
Look at the picture below. What are the women wearing? What are they holding in their hands? What are they doing? What do you think they're talking about?
She's wearing... / She's holding... / They're... / I think they're talking about...
What is something you're looking forward to?
What are you working on these days?
What's the weather like outside? Is it raining? Is the sun shining?
Do you think things are getting better or worse in the world?
What's on your mind these days? What are you thinking about?
How do you feel about your English progress? Do you feel that your English is improving?
Besides English, are you studying or practicing anything these days?
Are you doing anything later?
What are you having for dinner today?
Are you seeing your friends any time soon?
Are you visiting your family any time soon?
Are you reading any good books these days?
What is something you're considering doing in the next 12 months?
Are you looking for anything these days? (For instance, shopping for something online.)
Are you getting bored or tired of anything these days?
How are you feeling right now?
What time are you going home/to work/to school today?
Are you planning to go on vacation this year?
How is technology changing the world these days?
Technology is making/becoming/getting...
Do you think people are changing the way they act? In what way?
People are getting/becoming...
Is anything or anyone driving you crazy lately?
What is something you're enjoying these days?
What are you wearing today?
Are you messaging anyone regularly?
Are you reading this on a phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer?
Are you having a good time going through these questions?
Besides answering these questions, are you doing anything else right now?
So, you've read a lot of questions. Are you getting tired yet?
Think about how you're changing as you get older. Finish these sentences about yourself:
I'm becoming more...
I'm becoming less...
I'm feeling more...
I'm feeling less...
These days, I'm spending more time...[verb+ing if you want to mention an activity]
These days, I'm spending less time...[verb+ing if you want to mention an activity]
I'm thinking more about...
I'm finding that...
Overall, I feel my life is getting...
What's a news event that people are talking about these days? What are people saying about it?
Take a moment to imagine that you're on vacation right now. Where are you? What are you doing? What are the people around you doing right now?
You can use the present continuous to talk about new temporary behaviours. You can say that someone is being (meaning, acting in) a particular way. These are usually negative temporary behaviours, but they can be positive as well ("Stop being so nice!"). Finish these sentences:
Stop being/acting so...! (weird/strange/nosy/generous/nice/rude/mean/critical)
Why are you being/acting so...?
My friend [insert name] is being/acting really _____ these days.
I'm being serious! I/You/He/She/We/They...! ("I'm being serious!" is a common way to say "I'm not joking!")
You can also use the present continuous to focus on a person's repeated behaviours. This is usually used with the word "always." For example, "My mom's always telling me what to do" ("My mom is always..."). The present simple is used for this situation too ("My mom always tells me what to do"), but the continuous gives a stronger sense of personal intention and the continuous, repetitive nature of the behaviour. Finish these sentences (think about people in your own life if it helps):
They're always fighting.
He's always messaging me.
We're always thinking about the future.
You're always helping others. It's nice to see!
Picture time! What are they doing? / What is he doing? / What is she doing?
Finish these sentences with your own ideas:
She's wondering if...
I'm hoping that...
He's debating whether or not he should...
The company is considering...
She's really excelling at... (If you excel at something, you are exceptionally good at it.)
It's taking a long time to...
I think they're analyzing...
This conversation activity is helping me to...
Where are you living these days?
Are you taking any classes or programs right now for your own personal development?
Are you preparing for anything these days?
What is something you're succeeding at?
Do you feel like you're doing/trying your best these days?
Are you reorganizing anything in your house/apartment/condo these days?
What are you doing to maintain or improve your health?
I'm watching what I eat. I'm exercising...
Are you a seeing a specialist for anything?
Are you doing any volunteer work?
Passive present continuous ("be" conjugated + "being" + past participle)
Is anything new being built in your city/town/village/area?
When is the mail being delivered today?
Are you being watched by anyone right now?
Where is the next World Cup being held?
The next World Cup is being held in...[country/region]
What's a movie/book/game/etc. that's being released soon?
Are you being evaluated by anyone right now?
What's an issue at your school or workplace that's currently being discussed?
Okay, let's finish! Complete the sentences below. If you're working with a partner or a group, take turns. Help each other.
I'm looking for...
She's being persuaded by...
I'm managing to...
We're dealing with a lot of...
He's trying to reduce the amount of...
I'm spending too much time...[verb+ing if you want to mention an activity]
The company's being investigated because...
We just got an email from the boss. She's telling us to...
So, how are you feeling after answering so many questions? I hope you're feeling more confident about your English skills!
Finally, if you enjoyed this resource and you want to support my work--and if you want to continue improving your English vocabulary and speaking skills!--pick up a copy of my book, 300 Practical English Words and Phrases. Thank you and good luck with your studies!