"I am eating."
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No. German doesn't have a continuous aspect. Both "I eat" and "I am eating" translate as "Ich esse".
Why in English is the verb "To be"
The answer is, it just is.
German verbs just seem to do this almost all the time, as far as I understand.
On the upside the patterns are much more predictable than English, eg:
It's pretty common to have "e" at then end of verbs with "I".
Then you can consistently add "n" to get the form for "We", eg: