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151

EDIT: Added past continuous, trimmed image so it would be slightly larger, and gave it a transparent background. EDIT: Added middle line, made some adjustments per @Kosmonaut.


47

For the sake of presenting the information in another way: I eat habitually; in general. “I eat venison occasionally.” as a command “Now, we eat!” I am eating at this point; at this point, continuously; at a point in the future. “I am eating these leftovers. Would you like some?” “I am eating lunch with ...


35

The Middle Construction "The ticket is printing" is something known as a middle construction. It is called "middle" because it is not exactly a passive sentence ("The ticket is being printed") and not exactly an active sentence (because the "ticket" is not really the agent of the action). Some examples of middles from "An Introduction to English Syntax": ...


14

... you can't present perfect (or continuous) and past simple within a sentence. As it stands, this rule is incorrect. In many cases it is acceptable and logical to mix past and present references in consecutive clauses I lost my keys last week, but now I have found them. This makes sense: A was true then, but B is true now. This, ...


13

To get technical about it, present is a tense, but continuous and progressive are grammatical aspects, not tenses. Whereas tenses mark when an action happens, aspects give other temporal information, such as duration, completion, or frequency. English makes no distinction between continuous and progressive, and they are both formed using the present ...


12

It is indeed an "adjustment" of English grammar having to do with the complications of time travel. When causality in the future has its effects in the past, conditional statements become complicated. Perhaps the best comedic exploration of the effects of time travel on language was by Douglas Adams in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: One of ...


11

There is no rule about this. Many times a short acronym takes an apostrophe: The bouncer is ID'ing people. but you're as likely to see The bouncer is IDing people. Your example is a bit different, and personally I'd go with I'm just RICEing it. In this case, the "E" has an actual meaning and should, IMO, be kept. "RICing" could be construed ...


10

The construction employed in the question is determined by the construction employed in the declarative sentence - the 'answer' you are looking for. Look is an activity verb, and usually takes the progressive construction in reporting a present action; in a question, subject/auxiliary inversion operates with the existing auxiliary BE: That man is ...


9

The main difference would be that any continuous tense of know will be frowned upon. "I am knowing", "I was knowing", "I will be knowing" all make little sense, as we don't perceive the act of knowing as a feasible thing. Knowing something is a state, not an action. I can say I am biking, I am painting, I am thinking. But when I describe a state, a static ...


9

The rule you quote is simplistic. It is quite permissible to mix all sorts of tenses within one sentence. The issue is whether the time relationships that they convey make sense. Take a simpler case: present and future. Would a blanket rule that you should never mix present and future in a sentence be valid? No. "Bob owns the house and so he will paint it ...


9

"I will eat cakes" is more about the act; "I will be eating cakes" is more about being in the state of "eating cakes". Consider "I will drive home tomorrow" (yay, I'm going home) versus "I will be driving home tomorrow" (so that would be a bad time for you to call me on my cell phone).


9

Knowing happens but once -- unlike waiting, you don't stretch the process of knowing someone over an extended period. It happens at a moment of time. That is why, I suppose. You could, on the other hand, be getting to know the person better over ten years.


9

It sounds fine to me. (But I'm not actually a native speaker, and Indian English does have a reputation for using the progressive a lot.) This is how I interpret "I'm loving it". (I've put back the 'g' because writing lovin' is too folksy for me.) I also assume "it" refers to something particular, like McDonald's or the food there. Also, I think it helps to ...


9

My guess is that you read a table something like this: Present Simple (I eat) habitually; in general. as a command Present Continuous (I am eating at this point at this point, continuously at a point in the future. Past Simple (I ate) at a point in the past. Past Continuous (I was eating) at a point in the past continuously etc... and found it ...


8

Since there have been no other similar answers so far: I am a native English speaker and it sounds perfectly natural to me. Cheesy, but natural in terms of grammar. EDIT: @Martha expressed the same sentiment, but as a comment rather than an answer. If I had seen that, I would have left a comment as well. It amounts to more or less the same thing though.


8

The first form is used when it is relevant that the action will occur at the same time as some other action. For example: Don't bother calling after 9; I'll be sleeping.


8

Syntactically, yes, the sentence is correct. It's the Passive Future Progressive. The direct derivation is: Michael will be drinking water. >>> Water will be being drunk by Michael. But the real question is, what do you want to mean by it, and in what situation? You would have to be referring to a particular moment or point in time in the future. ...


8

Yes, it's fine, providing you want it to mean what it says. Going to... indicates a future action: I'm going to hit him I'm going to vomit So you can express the future action of going somewhere: I'm going to go somewhere You can add the reason for that future action. I'm going to hit him to show my disapproval. I'm going to go to show ...


7

The Past Progressive is needed here because the writer is detailing the sort of marriage and the consequences of such a marriage. Compare: He married her. He married up. They raised 10 kids. -- and -- He married her. He was marrying up. They raised 10 kids. You will notice that the first case (with the Past Simple, your alternative) seems to ...


7

Many words describing senses and emotions tend not to be used in the progressive/continuous form. Although many such verbs are either so abstract as to make temporal distinction unnecessary, or relate to a single instance (as Kris points out with "know") it isn't the case with all of them. Such verbs are called stative (or state) verbs and include: like, ...


7

"A-" before a verb was a prefix quite common in 16th C. English. It is still, today, quite common in Appalachian English, in the US, which is where Dylan no doubt took his influence. It can mean "engaged in", as in "He's a-runnin! And fast!", or "She's a-birth, and there's no point in hoping she'll not." It can also mean "motion to, into", as in "I'm ...


7

The verb (to be) in your sentence is in Simple Future (also known as Future Indefinite) tense. Some grammarians will argue that English does not have a future tense at all, but if we stick to the traditional EFL classification, will+infinitive means Simple Future. Future continuous is will+be+ing, as in I will be sitting on this couch the whole day ...


6

Among other uses, the auxiliary verb, would, is used to express an assumption, presumption or expectation in the past. The "would (and in some cases should) + present perfect" is formed with the present tense of have, and the past participle of the verb would/should + have + past participle Someone called after you left but didn't leave a message. That ...


6

This is a strange theory that is provably wrong. It is easy to trace "I am working" back to determine that it has not developed from "I am at working", and it is obvious that the rheinische Verlaufsform is different from the English Present Progressive in other ways, not just the preposition. For starters, it uses the nominalized bare infinitive, and it uses ...


6

Q: What are you doing at the moment? A: I'm teaching English at a language school. Does this mean the person is teaching at the moment of speaking. No, it doesn't. We use the present continuous tense to talk about things that are in progress or for actions that are, for the time being, temporary in nature. The fact your friend replied using the present ...


6

Apparently I found this expression in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Valley of Fear. Here an official detective – Alec MacDonald, a Scotchman – uses it while describing his joy at listening to Sherlock Holmes. The lines are as follows: "Ay, that's remarkable," said the inspector thoughtfully. "Talk away, Mr. Holmes. I'm just loving it. It's fine!"


6

Hmm, okay, a totally non-grammatical (probably, and thus very likely totally wrong) answer by an avowed non-grammarian (who nevertheless described and describes himself as a grammar-nazi at times): "I'm looking forward to" means I'm doing it right now, this very instance, like in Elendil's example of being on the phone with a friend; I disagree that it's ...


6

It is, but I am starting to learn xyz might be preferable, if only to avoid the sound of the two -ing forms one after the other.



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