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6
votes
9answers
21k views

“have been working” vs. “have worked”

What is the difference between the following two sentences? I have been working here for 20 years. I have worked here for 20 years. The present perfect tense is used for repetitive or ...
4
votes
2answers
168 views

“I went to the hotel you were staying at” vs. “you stayed at”

Is there a difference in meaning between these two sentences? I went to the hotel you were staying at when you were in New York. I went to the hotel you stayed  at when you were in New York. ...
5
votes
3answers
930 views

Use of past and progressive tense

Can someone tell me which, if any, of the following sentences are correct: When she walked in, he was laying on the bed. When she walked in, he was laid on the bed. When she walked in, he ...
1
vote
2answers
90 views

”We're looking forward to helping you find X” vs “We look forward to help you find X” etc

I’m trying to link the following items into a single sentence: we look forward to help you find X So for example, here are some ways I was thinking of doing that: We look forward to help you ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

“The key doesn't work” vs. “The key is not working” [closed]

Here's a situation. You go to your hotel room and the key that you have is not working. When you go back to the reception, should you say: The key is not working, can you fix it. Or The key ...
0
votes
3answers
4k views

“I am trying to learn” vs “I try to learn”

What is the difference between present simple and present progressive when it comes to actions like the following? At school, I am trying to learn a wide array of subjects. At school, I try ...
2
votes
2answers
96 views

Present Progressive or Simple Present for things that could be considered as a repeated action or as an action happening right now?

There's one thing about Simple Present versus Present Progressive which is still not quite clear to me. The rough overview is1: Use simple present for repeated actions, general things. Use present ...
0
votes
2answers
58 views

“Cannot believe what he saw” versus “cannot believe what he was seeing” [duplicate]

Which of the following sentences is grammatical: The boss could not believe what he saw yesterday morning when he entered the office. The boss could not believe what he was seeing yesterday morning ...
2
votes
3answers
671 views

What is the difference between saying “I wasn't knowing” and “I didn't know”? [closed]

I was wondering what is the difference between I wasn't knowing and I didn't know? If I say, I wasn't knowing, I am talking about something unknown in past, the act of not knowing is finished, it ...
77
votes
5answers
10k views

How do the tenses and aspects in English correspond temporally to one another?

Non-native speakers often get confused about what the various tenses and aspects mean in English. With input from some of the folk here I've put together a diagram that I hope will provide some ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

“I'm not being” or “I'm not been”?

I'm not been able to make up my mind or I'm not being able to make up my mind? Which one is the correct sentence? Why is it correct and why is the other one incorrect? Edit 10/09/2012: ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Etymology of progressive forms [duplicate]

In spite of English the German language does not have Present/Past Progressive, although both languages have the same root. When and why did the progressive tenses develop and became part of the ...
0
votes
2answers
158 views

Can Past Progressive Tense be used for habitual past? [duplicate]

I ran across the following sentence in an ESL textbook (by Jack C. Richards): "I was going to auditions" which was used to say what the subject would do for some time after college. However, almost ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Would have done

Please read the following passage. I will post my question at the end of it. Here is the passage: At home I locked myself in. Jason, my lawyer and lyn sent texts simultaneously at the point the ...
1
vote
3answers
384 views

“I teach” vs. “I'm teaching” — which one is proper in this situation?

Following situation occurs/ed. I meet a friend for a coffee. We chat and I ask him what he's doing for work now. His answer: "I'm teaching English." This irks me. Because in that situation he's not ...
-1
votes
0answers
178 views

One of the underlined words is wrong. Choose either A, B, C or D [duplicate]

"What (are:A) you talking (about:B)? (I'm:C) not (understand:D) you." At first, I thought C, so the sentence would be "What are you talking about? I don't understand you." And I chose C because I ...
3
votes
1answer
327 views

“I'll keep you company while you wait” or “I'll keep you company while you're waiting”

I know that while, like after, before, when, as soon as introduce time clauses, which require the present simple: I'll keep you company while you wait. But so many of the students have used the ...
3
votes
5answers
18k views

“Will graduate” vs. “will be graduated” vs. “is going to graduate”

Which of the following sentences are correct? He will graduate in May. He will be graduated in May. He is going to graduate in May. Issue 1: Is the second one grammatical? Issue 2: ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it really wrong to say “I'm hearing”?

Many grammar books claim that ‘see’, ‘hear’, ‘taste’, ‘smell’, ‘feel’ are verbs that aren’t used in continuous forms, and yet, we do hear and see it quite often used by native speakers. For instance, ...
1
vote
2answers
891 views

Difference between “deny doing something” and “deny having done something”

What is the difference between "deny doing something" and "deny having done something"? The context is as follows: While being questioned on the court, the man denied [taking/having taken] the ...
1
vote
1answer
201 views

When to use present perfect and when present perfect continuous?

In my English book it says ''I have done'' is used when an action is ended, but where there are consequences in the future. For example: 'There has been an accident, and as a result the street is ...
0
votes
6answers
2k views

“I don't understand you” vs. “I'm not understanding you” [closed]

Which sentence is correct? What are you talking about? I don't understand you. What are you talking about? I'm not understanding you. That was a question we've had in an exam and it was: ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

I see and I hear

Traditional English prescriptive grammar teaches that these two verbs, to see and to hear, when describing their sensory nature, should never be used in the progressive aspect of tenses. Thus I ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Why “should be doing” and not just “should do” in the following sentences?

What is the difference between "should X" and "should be Xing" in the following contexts? Or are they interchangeable? 10 Things you should do to improve the health of your hair. 10 Things ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

I am going to go?

My English teacher told me that "going to go" doesn't exist in English but I saw it many times. For example "The whole band is going to go to show their support". I'd like to know if it's possible to ...
2
votes
2answers
8k views

“I am going to bed” vs. “I will be going to bed”

What is the difference between saying the following? I am going to bed in a few minutes. I will be going to bed in a few minutes. Or I will be getting off here. Or, I guess, I will be ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is this correct: “Water will be being drunk by Michael”?

I started with "Michael is drinking water", which I could convert to "Water is being drunk by Michael", which I could change to the past tense as "Water was being drunk by Michael". That leads me to ...
0
votes
1answer
664 views

What is the difference between “I have worked here” and “I have been working here”? [duplicate]

What is the difference between the following sentences? When can I use either? I have worked here and I have been working here
0
votes
1answer
524 views

Is “considering taking” grammatically correct?

I've seen the following sentence in a newspaper. Is it grammatical? He's considering taking early retirement. Taking = present progressive was used near another present progressive?
3
votes
1answer
340 views

Present simple or present continuous?

Here is an exercise from Intermediate Language Practice by Michael Vince: Complete the following sentence with a present simple or present continuous form of the words in bold. Pat has ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Is the “is being employed” bit in this sentence grammatical?

Mr. Peter is being employed at our company as "Marketing Supervisor" as of 01.01.2010 till date with a monthly salary of 0000.0000
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Difference between “have had” and “having”

What is the difference between the following two sentences? I have had a headache since this morning. I am having a headache since this morning.
-1
votes
2answers
937 views

Difference between present perfect and perfect continous [closed]

What is the difference between these two sentences:- The traffic police has blocked the road for heavy vehicles since last Friday and It has been raining heavily since morning.
0
votes
1answer
300 views

Is this sentence in the Future Continuous?

Would be obliged if someone could clarify whether the following is in the Future Continuous tense. The Earth will be three degrees hotter by the year 2050. It seems so but I need to be ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Achievement Verbs with the Progressive Aspect

I was reading a grammar and saw this. Achievement verbs describe actions that occur instantaeously. He solved the problem. He spotted the airplane. These verbs fall into two classes - one is ...
1
vote
1answer
149 views

Is the sequence of tenses applied properly in this example?

I found this sentence in some book: When Mom asked Gramma why she hasn't been answering the telephone, Gramma said. . . . My question is about the sequence of tenses: shouldn't the past perfect ...
2
votes
1answer
524 views

Passive auxiliary verb or progressive one?

Uncle Vernon made another funny noise, like a mouse being trodden on.                —Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Is ‘being’ a passive auxiliary verb or a progressive one?
3
votes
3answers
177 views

“Be able to,” “can” in reduced relative pronouns

I am trying to remember whether the sentences below are correct: I don't know this guy being able to complete this task. I don't know this guy can complete this task. I think the first one is ...
5
votes
2answers
178 views

Manipulativeness of the progressive aspect in “to be wondering if”

I am around a group of people who, for whatever reason, have developed the habit of talking odd tenses. I'm no English or grammar expert but here is what I mean. Instead of saying "Can I borrow your ...
0
votes
2answers
480 views

Future Passive Progressive? [duplicate]

Does some future passive progressive tense exist, such as: He will be being interviewed by police." as a counterpart to the past passive progressive tense, such as: He was being ...
0
votes
2answers
196 views

“I stay in Canada” vs. “I will stay in Canada” [duplicate]

Situation: I am in Canada and will go back to Hong Kong next week. So, I want to tell my friends that "I will stay in Canada until the 6th of March". Question: I do not know if the word will should ...
2
votes
3answers
498 views

Answering past simple question with past continuous

For example, — What did you do yesterday? — I was working. I presume this is not grammatically correct; however, I often reply in this way (I'm English). Also vice versa: "What were you doing ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “have been being investigated” in the following sentence grammatically correct?

I need to know whether the following sentence is grammatically correct or not. Specifically, I am unsure about have been being investigated part. Do the times that I am using match each other? ...
0
votes
3answers
4k views

What's the difference between “I want” and “I am wanting”?

What is the difference between the two? Why and where is the latter very strange sounding variant used?
3
votes
3answers
6k views

Present Progressive or Present Continuous?

What is the correct term used to describe this tense in English — Present Progressive or Present Continuous? I see both terms used in grammar books.
-2
votes
2answers
177 views

Using verb continuous for living abroad for a period of time [closed]

Suppose that a friend of mine is Thai and he usually lives in Thailand. Now he is in Australia and he is going to live in Australia for only a few years. Should I say “A friend of mine is living in ...
6
votes
3answers
891 views

Present simple on temporary action

Mary is sleeping in the living room while we redecorate her room. Why is the present simple "redecorate" used? Present simple is used when there's something permanent, but they don't want to ...
4
votes
3answers
125k views

“Thank you all” — wrong or right?

On many occasions after we complete a speech, we often consider thanking our audience. In this scenario, I am not sure if "Thank you all" is the right English. Should it be "Thanking you all" instead ...
1
vote
2answers
361 views

What is the grammatical construct using present progressive in relative clauses called?

When I learned this, it had a very distinctive name and allowed to make more interesting sentences. For instance, given the sentence Fred extended his feet, which stopped the car. It can be ...
-1
votes
2answers
359 views

Present Simple or Present Continious [closed]

I have to write an email to inform other people about some error that occurred. I want to write: It is returning "value1" instead of "value2" when I select something which is causing the error. ...