The progressive aspect expresses the dynamic quality of actions that are in progress.

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109
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6answers
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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 ...
21
votes
1answer
2k views

“The ticket is printing” vs “…is being printed”

You're standing in front of a ticket vending machine and it says "The ticket is printing". Is that correct or should it be "The ticket is being printed"? EDIT: If both are correct, which one should ...
18
votes
6answers
267k views

What's the difference between “I look forward to” and “I'm looking forward to”?

I just don't get the reasoning behind which one is correct in which situation. Typically I use the wrong one, or I use them when I'm not supposed to.
16
votes
10answers
9k views

“I'm lovin' it”

How normal-sounding is the slogan "I'm lovin' it" to native ears? I know it sounded quite odd to me when I first heard it — and it still sometimes does —, but I can't even tell why. Sure, love is ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Mixing past tenses in the same sentence

I have a question about violating verb tenses. I was taught that you can't use present perfect (or continuous) and past simple within a sentence. You either have to use present perfects (or ...
11
votes
2answers
20k views

“The train will leave” vs. “is going to leave” vs. “leaves” vs. “is leaving”

From the grammatical point of view all are correct, just the meaning are different, please bring your clarification, thank you. The Train will leave at 10:00 tomorrow morning. The Train is ...
10
votes
4answers
34k views

“Will be doing” vs. “will do”

What's the difference between: I will be eating cakes tomorrow. I will eat cakes tomorrow. And, when should I use the first form?
10
votes
9answers
75k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

“You were already having been going to do that!”

From one of the Futurama episodes: Farnsworth A: You people and your slight differences disgust me. I'm going home. Where's that blue box with our universe in it? Farnsworth 1: Oh, ...
9
votes
3answers
11k 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, ...
8
votes
4answers
872 views

progressive forms: participle or gerund?

Progressive forms of verbs consist of the form to be + participle. At least that is what most English grammars say or they are imprecise and speak of the -ing form. My question is what follows after ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

Present perfect continuous and “for”

Why aren't you allowed to say "I have been knowing her for ten years" or "It has been broadcasting for many years"? But you are allowed to say "I have been waiting for an hour".
7
votes
4answers
3k views

What's with the passive present perfect progressive? [duplicate]

I was taught that we made passive voice using be + the participle of the main verb, without changing the verb tense. E.g., I send letters. (present simple) Letters are sent. (present simple ...
6
votes
3answers
276k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Make “will have been going to go” correct

Is there a situation or question where the phrase will have been going to go is the best, most natural, or clearest response (or included in said response)? I'm asking this probably somewhat silly ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
247 views

Why is the progressive form used here?

In February 1825 he married Julianne Thiemer, daughter of a property owner and well-established glove-maker in Seesen. Heinrich, a cabinet maker without property, a Beiwohner(boarder), was marrying ...
5
votes
1answer
435 views

Present continous and present simple

Why do we say, "Who is that man? What does he want", but, "Who is that man? Why is he looking at us". If the second is okay, which I am sure it is, why can't we say, "Who is that man? What is he ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
17k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
226 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
284 views

Overuse of progressive forms

Though not a native speaker I have the impression that some native speakers overuse progressive verb forms. An example I have just read: My cat is gaining too much weight, how often should I be ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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. ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Future Perfect with the preposition 'since'

I have a question regarding the future perfect tense and which prepositions go with it. Understandably, by, for, and in work very well with the future perfect. By friday, I will have been working ...
4
votes
3answers
8k views

The times are a-changing? Why a-? [duplicate]

I'm Italian so I don't know English very well. While listening to Bob Dylan songs I've heard some strange use of progressive tense (is that the correct term?), the title of this question is one ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

“I have been keeping ignoring you.”

Does this make any sense? I have been keeping ignoring you. Besides that it sounds awkward, my Chinese buddy who knows more grammar rules than I care to list said that the phrase is ...
4
votes
3answers
741 views

*Joking* used in continuous form

"I'm only joking" and "She wasn't joking". Why is the verb to joke used in the present continuous, instead of the present simple tense? Is it because it's a dynamic verb?
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Simple present vs. present continuous

What is the difference between saying: Are you still working there? Do you still work there? Which is more common in spoken vs written English? Google books returned results for both of ...
4
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Am I RICEing my injury?

Rest, Icing, Compression and Elevation after an injury, and repeat as needed for the first couple hours. Using RICE, how would I type the answer to the question, "How's your twisted ankle?"? "Not so ...
3
votes
3answers
17k 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.
3
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
367 views

Is “be wearing” improper English?

If I were to say, Can't I just be wearing my swim suit already? Would "be wearing" be improper English?
3
votes
4answers
685 views

Future perfect progressive

When is the future perfect progressive used? I am trying to understand in which cases it should be used, but I cannot find any practice examples of sentences using that tense. I will have been ...
3
votes
5answers
37k 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: ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

“I am starting learning xyz”

Is this sentence correct? I am starting learning xyz.
3
votes
3answers
23k views

“How long have you [had/been having] this?” - Cont. or Simple?

I'm studying Present Perfect tenses at the moment and have been wondering what tense should I use in this example: How long have you [had/been having] this thing? So I know that in some cases ...
3
votes
1answer
738 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
18k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
244 views

Importance and relevance (and accuracy) of the distinctions of the two forms of the future simple tense [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are the guidelines for usage of “will” and “is/are going to”? I am an ESL teacher in Thailand at a business college. I have been plagued ...
3
votes
1answer
3k 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
4answers
233 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
50 views

Stative verbs, “to be in labour”

I was wondering if in the construction to be in labour, the verb be is stative, and for this reason we can't use it in the progressive aspect. Or, is this next construction grammatically correct: she ...
3
votes
2answers
136 views

They are going to be letting me out next week

I am reading a book "Second hand" by Michael Zadoorian in which a boy visits his ex girlfriend in the hospital as she attempted suicide. There is a sentence which creates some difficulty to me: "They ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Present perfect and present perfect continuous for actions in progress [duplicate]

My grammar book says that both present perfect and present perfect continuous, when used with "for, since, etc", express a situation that began in the past and continues to the present. When used ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

“will you be going home” vs. “will you go home”

What's the difference between saying; Will you be going home this summer? Will you go home this summer? Are there any differences between these in written or spoken English?
3
votes
3answers
731 views

The use of the Present Simple within a short period of time

Help me understand how idiomatic this usage of the Present Simple is. Usually, PS conveys repeated actions within relatively long (or almost unlimited) time frames. For instance, “The sun rises in the ...
2
votes
3answers
21k views

“I had a dinner” vs. “I was having a dinner”

A friend of mine showed a video on her Facebook wall post. She posted this: I had a dinner with Chinese friends, I was happy at that moment!! Should it be "I was having a dinner" instead of "I ...
2
votes
4answers
14k views

“By clicking submit you agree…” or “By clicking submit you are agreeing…” [closed]

By clicking submit you agree to the Terms and Conditions. By clicking submit you are agreeing to the Terms and Conditions. Which is correct? Why?
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Past continuous or past simple?

In this sentence, should I use past continuous form of the verb or past simple or it in the gap? Last night, I was sleeping in my bed, when I ------- (hear) a terrible noise. I ------ (get up) ...