What Is the Progressive Aspect? (with Examples)
What Is the Progressive Aspect? (with Examples)The progressive aspect (or continuing aspect as it's sometimes called) is the aspect of a verb that expresses an ongoing action.
Progressive aspect is the collective term for verbs (past, present, or future) in a progressive tense. (This means the perfect progressive tenses too.)
Examples of Verbs in the Progressive AspectVerbs in the progressive aspect are recognizable by the present participle (i.e., the word which ends -ing). Here are some examples of verbs in the progressive aspect. The list below includes verbs in the progressive tenses and the perfect progressive tenses.
In the Past Tense
- He was singing. (progressive tense)
- We were playing. (progressive tense)
- She had been flying. (perfect progressive tense)
- I am leaving. (progressive tense)
- They are diving. (progressive tense)
- They have been fighting. (perfect progressive tense)
- I will be flying. (progressive tense)
- They will be acting. (progressive tense)
- She will have been singing. (perfect progressive tense)
Forming the Progressive AspectThe progressive aspect is formed using a form of the auxiliary verb to be and the present participle. For example:
Forming the Past Progressive Tense
"was" or "were" + present participle
- We were writing.
"is" or "are" + present participle
- She is diving.
- They are eating.
"will be" + present participle
- He will be flying.
Forming the Past Perfect Progressive Tense
"had" + "been" + present participle
- They had been eating.
"has" or "have" + "been" + present participle
- He has been eating.
- We have been eating.
"will have" + "been" + present participle
- He will have been eating.
Verb Tenses Showing the Progressive AspectHere is a list of the verb tenses. The ones in the progressive aspect are shaded.
|The 4 Past Tenses||Example|
|simple past tense||I went|
|past progressive tense||I was going|
|past perfect tense||I had gone|
|past perfect progressive tense||I had been going|
|The 4 Present Tenses||Example|
|simple present tense||I go|
|present progressive tense||I am going|
|present perfect tense||I have gone|
|present perfect progressive tense||I have been going|
|The 4 Future Tenses||Example|
|simple future tense||I will go|
|future progressive tense||I will be going|
|future perfect tense||I will have gone|
|future perfect progressive tense||I will have been going|