Questions tagged [progressive-aspect]

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

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"This is not getting washed" What is the function of "getting" in the sentence [closed]

I have seen a few sentences where the structure looks like this subject + to be + verb-ing + verb in past. Is this grammatically correct?
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Future Perfect and Future Perfect Progressive for past assumptions

I would greatly appreciate your help with resolving one doubt I have and have been struggling to clear up. It concerns the Future Perfect's and Future Perfect Progressive's more advanced usage - ...
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Progressive aspect implying "unplanned" or unexpectedness when used with "always"

Consider the following two sentences. Sentence 1: I always meet Tom at the mall. Sentence 2: I'm always meeting Tom at the mall. The first sentence sounds more like these regular meetings with Tom are ...
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Is this tense usage correct, "you'll continue acting"?

if you'll continue acting like... I understand "if you continue to act like..." seems more logical, but is there a fault in the first sentence? I am focusing on the "act" part. ...
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Infinitive vs. To Be Gerund [duplicate]

Which of the following sentences is regarded as more grammatical? They appear to like their new neighborhood. OR They appear to be liking their new neighborhood. Is it the case that while both may ...
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"could" with the progressive aspect of a verb

Situation 1: My friends are playing outside. My leg is injured. Sitting at home, I'm thinking: It's pity that my leg is injured. I could be playing with them now. Situation 2: My friends are playing ...
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Otherwise I would/could/might be playing now [closed]

Person A: Why are you sitting here and not playing with them? Person B: My leg is injured. Otherwise I would be playing with them now. My leg is injured. Otherwise I could be playing with them now. ...
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“COVID-19 changed / has changed / has been changing the everyday life of people” [duplicate]

This is for the translation of a bachelor thesis and we have different opinions on the use of the word "change". Which is correct? COVID-19 changed / has changed / has been changing the ...
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Verb Tenses: Present Perfect vs. Present Perfect Progressive

Please answer and explain this: "David could help, as he (has been serving/has served) as an ambassador for the last seven years and won't retire until 2010." According to the book that i'm ...
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Chekhov and the omission of "be" verbs with progressive tenses in compound sentences

The following is an excerpt from a translation of Chekhov's story "The Student" published in the Norton Critical Editions. Given the prestige of this publication, one would assume what's printed to be,...
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Progressive 'have'

Consider these two sentences, please: We had a strange woman come to the door selling pictures. We had a man singing to us as we sat in the restaurant having our meal. Can I use the progressive ...
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See somebody do/doing something [duplicate]

Consider these two variations: Every morning, tourists can see soldiers raise the national flag in the square. Every morning, tourists can see soldiers raising the national flag in the square. What ...
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"He has been learning to swim" implicates that he doesn’t know how to swim

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, page 164, reads He has been learning to swim implicates that he doesn’t know how to swim Is this true for most English dialects? In my native ...
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"When I last saw him he was dying, but now you'd hardly know he'd been ill"

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, page 122, reads He was dying is an implicature because of the possibility of cancellation, as in When I last saw him he was dying, but now you would ...
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Use of future progressive tense in a specific context

I'd like to ask about a specific use of future progressive tense. Context: I am at a restaurant and I go to the bar to order my food. There is a waiter at the bar and he asks whether I am eating at ...
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I will see my friend to the airport. Why the progressive seems to be not possible? [closed]

I assume this is correct: I will see my friend to the aiport. But for this, I cannot see a single hit on Google: I'm seeing my friend to the airport. I'm using the progressive to express that ...
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What part of speech is 'Hearing' in these sentences?

What is hearing in these sentences? Hearing the voice, the boy woke up. The boy woke up hearing the voice.
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'will be V-ing' vs. the present progressive [for future reading]

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Page 171-2): [22] i When we get there, they’ll probably still be having lunch. [aspectual meaning] ii Will you be going to the shops this afternoon? [...
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What makes progressive verbs different from atelic, and can a verb be both atelic/telic, and/or progressive?

From what I've been reading about progressive verb forms those types of verbs are more often atelic, but I'm wondering if there are progressive forms that are exceptions to that. Or how can atelic/...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Are both forms possible? Present perfect vs progressive

I'd like to know if both sentences could be possible. We've gone / We've been going to the same dentist since we were children. You've worn / You've been wearing that coat for years. Thank you in ...
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2 answers
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Using the Progressive Form of Be for a State of the Mind and Lately in Present Continuous

Firstly, is the following sentence correct? My brother is being unusually nervous lately. If correct, how is being nervous behavior? We usually use the progressive of be to describe a behavior or ...
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Confusing use of "seeing" and "having"

I have two questions concerning 1. "seeing" and 2. "having." 1. Can "seeing" be used as a noun which might be modified by an adjective? Here's the example I am referring to: "Star Trek Into Darkness ...
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Why wasn't the past progressive tense used in: “As I flew over the city,…”

I saw the following sentence in a book titled Awaken The Giant Within As I flew over the city of Glendale, I suddenly recognized a large building, and I stopped the helicopter and hovered above it"...
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4 votes
3 answers
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"Be" as an action in the past or as linking verb

She was smiling when she saw you. Is this the past continuous tense or is was acting as a linking verb between subject and predicate adjective? How can one distinguish easily between the two?
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Are past/present progessive and past/present perfect verb form, nonfinite?

I read that nonfinite verb form end in -ed,-ing or starts with to and another definition where nonfinite verb form show no tense. But on the other hand, I've read there are past and present ...
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Sentence formation of a past incident

I need help with finding out which of the below sentences is correct: Since she wore glasses, I could not discern whether she was crying. Since she wore glasses, I could not discern whether she cried....
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What are the verbs that are not used in the progressive?

There are verbs that generally don't take the progressive suffix "-ing", like hate and not hating: "I hate that," not "I am hating that." This also applies to other verbs like want, need, like, etc. ...
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present perfect progressive with stop/start

A student asked me: Can I say 'I have been stopping this project / I have been starting this project' to express repeated action (with present perf. prog)? My answer was 'no', but I am having a hard ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Is "University Challenge" right that this is a gerund?

The full context is below, but the basic question is: is the word spending in the following example really a gerund, as claimed by the University Challenge question-setters? My "best guess" would be ...
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Headed or heading?

This is more of a claim than a question. I claim that a construction like "I am headed home (which you will hear a lot in America) is wrong. The present progressive must utilize the ing-form. Try ...
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5 votes
4 answers
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Why does English use the present continuous so often?

Why is the present continuous used in English so often in comparison to the simple present? For example I eat is possible, but the preferred way I am eating meaning roughly the same thing, is ...
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"Look! The sun rises" vs. "Look! The sun is rising"

I know that theoretically you can use both statements in English: a) Look! The sun rises. b) Look! The sun is rising. But is anybody (who is a native speaker) saying "Look! The sun rises."? In ...
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Ally (has) cc'd me [closed]

Suppose Ally sent an email to Bob to let him know the due date for submission of the document Bob is working on. Ally cc'd me in the email so I learned about the due date as well. Bob, in all ...
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How can "ing" be used without adding while or after?

I heard this sentence while watching How I Met Your Mother, I am surprised you don't trip over your balls getting out of bed. So my question is how can "-ing" be used with the verb "get" without ...
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2 votes
4 answers
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Does Future Progressive only work with "will"?

You will be doing something tomorrow. You are going to be doing something tomorrow. I only find the "will" structure in different grammar books, but the second sentence sounds right to me. However, ...
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Present perfect continuous in passive voice

As I was teaching to my students the passive voice, we were talking about present or current problems in a company, I said to my students as follow: e.g Management have been ignoring complaints/...
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6 votes
3 answers
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The reasoning behind the present progressive representing a future event

I'm leaving next week. As shown here, the present progressive can represent an event that will happen in the future. I'm wondering what's the reasoning behind this feature. The one I can think of ...
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1 vote
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He must regret his decision vs He must be regretting his decision

(1) He must regret his decision. (2) He must be regretting his decision. If you're sure that "he" regrets his decision, can you say either (1) or (2)? In other words, can (2) be interpreted ...
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4 votes
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When is "Does... have...?" correct versus "Is... having... ?"

I have to generate random questions Yes/No about hotels, restaurants, etc. for a Natural-Language Programming task. The focus is on questions about characteristics about such places that are rather ...
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4 answers
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Is "my horse had been stolen" or "my horse was stolen" better in this sentence?

I'm Mexican and I have had English class since kindergarden, now I'm in eighth grade in middle school. Some days ago, we had the fourth term English exam, and I was surprised because the teacher had ...
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3 votes
5 answers
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What tense should I use for describing an ongoing action which has started a long time ago? [closed]

Suppose I started working on a project several years ago and right now I'm still working on the same project. If I want to express this to someone else what tense should I use? The statement should ...
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Why are "Verbs of bodily sensation (e.g. feel, hurt, ache) used in simple or progressive tenses

Verbs that refer to physical feelings (e.g. feel, hurt, ache) can often be used in simple or progressive tenses without much difference in meaning. How do you feel? or How are you feeling? ...
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2 votes
2 answers
215 views

Does "Who sings it?" express the habitual present or the present of immediacy?

Does sings as used in the quoted part refer to the habitual present tense or to the present tense of immediacy? I like this song. Who sings it? Suppose I were listening to a song and asked the ...
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2 answers
2k views

Gerund vs Present Participle: "I was thinking about eating the apple."

A quick question that has popped up from talking with my German pen-pal. In the sentence: I was thinking about eating the apple. Is eating there a gerund or a present participle? If it is just: ...
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Can one be "looking" surprised? [duplicate]

I was recently proofreading an ESL textbook and came across a photo of a woman. She had a surprised look on her face. Underneath were four options that the student was to pick. One of them was: "...
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Clarification on an example contrasting the “BE going to ɪɴꜰɪɴɪᴛɪᴠᴇ” future with the “BE ᴠᴇʀʙ‑ing” future

I’ve been looking at the difference in sentences that express future events: those using “BE going to ɪɴꜰɪɴɪᴛɪᴠᴇ” versus those using “BE ᴠᴇʀʙ-ing” (sometimes called the present continuous or present ...
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Is "My purse was stolen when I had been shopping" grammatical?

i) My purse was stolen when I was shopping. ii) My purse was stolen when I had been shopping. I thought that i) was grammatical and ii) ungrammatical. But yesterday I found the next sentence from ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Past Simple VS Past continuous

They came, four by four, down the vast hall between double rows of columns. The drum beat dully. No voice spoke, no eye watched. Torches carried by black-clad girls burned reddish in the shafts of ...
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2 answers
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Is this a valid way of implementing a continuous element into the sentence regarding "ashamed"?

"He should be ashamed to be laughing at his friends with the bullies." I am quite aware that usually and most of the time the adjective ashamed is followed by "of doing", yet can that be substituted ...
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Why isn't the progressive a “tense”? [duplicate]

Why aren't the 'progressive' verbal constructions (such as 'I am talking') regarded as tenses in traditional grammar? "There is no consensus, not even among linguists, about what constitutes a tense."...
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