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100

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.


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": ...


28

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 ...


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

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 ...


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.


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 ...


8

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 ...


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

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 ...


7

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.


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

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

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

The verb (to be) in your sentence is in Simple Future or Simple 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 tomorrow.


6

Your sentence makes perfect sense in this context: Parent: You need to wear something warm, and find someplace to change into your swimsuit. Child: If I wear other clothes over it, can't I just be wearing my swim suit already? That way I won't have to find a changing room.


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.


6

The present tense is typically used to indicate habitual aspect, while the construction be + -ing form of the verb indicates progressive aspect, showing that an event occurs at the time of speaking or over a period of time before and after it. That’s what’s going on in these examples. The first and third ones describe what you are doing over a period of ...


6

They're all just stylistic choices, with no difference in nuance of meaning. The only context where "regular, repeat event" comes into play is when you say something like "The London train leaves at 8 o'clock" - if you don't specify any particular day, the implication is it does so every day (or at least, every week-day - it may leave at a different time, ...


6

"(I) thank you all" is correct English, and a complete sentence.


6

There is no denotative difference between them. Their only difference in appropriateness to a particular situation derives from tone and coherence with the audience's habits.


6

In my opinion, both are equally correct. But the second one is a more polite way of saying it.


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 ...


5

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 ...


5

Look forward to is a phrasal verb that means to await eagerly. It can be used in any tense. Examples: I look forward to meeting you tonight. He looks forward to graduating this year. We dare not cancel the trip to Banff. The kids have been looking forward to this for ages! Both were looking forward to spending a wonderful evening together, but ...


5

There's nothing continuous/progressive about those actions, so the simple past tense is appropriate: Last night, I was sleeping in my bed when I heard a terrible noise. I got up immediately and ran outside.


5

First, just a little preface: "I will have been loving" is an awkward example because we don't generally use any of the progressives on stative verbs (except under special circumstances). Thus, we don't normally use the progressive for things like "love", "be" (in the sense of being, rather than behaving in a certain way), "think" (in the sense of having ...


5

Your friend's sentence, as she wrote it, is fine structurally (although not perfect). Both of the sentences "I had a dinner with Chinese friends" and "I was happy at that moment" refer to a specific point in the past -- the time of the dinner. Although your intuition is that the verbs should match (i.e. you should use was twice), in this case the parallel ...



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