No Continuous Tense in French

English has two present tenses: simple (“I write”) and continuous (“I am writing”), but French has no specialized continuous verb tenses. This means that “I write”, “I am writing”, and “I do write” can translate to j’écris (not je suis écris) and vice versa.

However, the idiomatic phrase « être en train de » is often used to indicate that someone is in the process of doing something.

  • Je suis en train de manger. — I am [in the process of] eating.

When translating, remember that English stative verbs have no continuous forms. For instance, « j’aime un garçon » cannot be translated as “I am loving a boy”.

… Je suis en train d’étude.
= Je suis étude.

… Je suis en train de bois du café
= Je suis bois du café.

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