The present continuous verb tense, or present progressive, is used to talk about actions that are ongoing or have not been completed. They are eating lunch is an example of a sentence using this verb tense. In Japanese, verbs are conjugated to the present continuous with the pattern て-form + いる.
The present continuous can be negated by negating the いる ending.
The past continuous is formed by simply putting the いる ending in the past tense.
You will find that the present continuous is often used in situations in Japanese where it would not be used in English and vice-versa. One of the most common examples of this is with the verb 知る, which means to know. When making sentences like I know the answer or What do you know about computers?, you normally use the present continuous in Japanese.
Sometimes the present continuous is even used for actions that are already completed. For example, this is the case with the verbs 行く and 来る.
|She has gone to England. (and is still there)||彼女 は イギリス に 行って います。kanojo wa igirisu ni itte imasu.|
|He has come to Italy. (and is still here)||イタリア に 来て います。itaria ni kite imasu.|
In some cases the て-form + いる can also be used to describe a situation where we would use an adjective in English.