Present Perfect Tense

12:46 PM

We use the present perfect when we want to look back from the present to the past.

We can use it to look back on the recent past.

  • I've broken my watch so I don't know what time it is.
  • They have cancelled the meeting.
  • She's taken my copy. I don't have one.
  • The sales team has doubled its turnover.

When we look back on the recent past, we often use the words 'just' 'already' or the word 'yet' (in negatives and questions only).

  • We've already talked about that.
  • She hasn't arrived yet.
  • I've just done it.
  • They've already met.
  • They don't know yet.
  • Have you spoken to him yet?
  • Have they got back to you yet?

It can also be used to look back on the more distant past.

  • We've been to Singapore a lot over the last few years.
  • She's done this type of project many times before.
  • We've mentioned it to them on several occasions over the last six months.
  • They've often talked about it in the past.

When we look back on the more distant past, we often use the words 'ever' (in questions) and 'never'.

  • Have you ever been to Argentina?
  • Has he ever talked to you about the problem?
  • I've never met Jim and Sally.
  • We've never considered investing in Mexico.

How do we make the Present Perfect Tense?

The structure of the present perfect tense is:

subject+auxiliary verb+main verb


have
past participle

Here are some examples of the present perfect tense:


subjectauxiliary verb
main verb
+Ihave
seenET.
+Youhave
eatenmine.
-Shehasnotbeento Rome.
-Wehavenotplayedfootball.
?Haveyou
finished?
?Havethey
doneit?

How do we use the Present Perfect Tense?

This tense is called the present perfect tense. There is always a connection with the past and with the present. There are basically three uses for the present perfect tense:

  1. experience
  2. change
  3. continuing situation

1. Present perfect tense for experience

We often use the present perfect tense to talk about experience from the past. We are not interested in when you did something. We only want to know if you did it:

I have seen ET.
He has lived in Bangkok.
Have you been there?
We have never eaten caviar.
pastpresentfuture

!!!
The action or state was in the past.In my head, I have a memory now.
Connection with past: the event was in the past.
Connection with present: in my head, now, I have a memory of the event; I know something about the event; I have experience of it.

2. Present perfect tense for change

We also use the present perfect tense to talk about a change or new information:

I have bought a car.
pastpresentfuture
-+
Last week I didn't have a car.Now I have a car.
John has broken his leg.
pastpresentfuture
+-
Yesterday John had a good leg.Now he has a bad leg.
Has the price gone up?
pastpresentfuture
+-
Was the price $1.50 yesterday?Is the price $1.70 today?
The police have arrested the killer.
pastpresentfuture
-+
Yesterday the killer was free.Now he is in prison.
Connection with past: the past is the opposite of the present.
Connection with present: the present is the opposite of the past.

3. Present perfect tense for continuing situation

We often use the present perfect tense to talk about a continuing situation. This is a state that started in the past and continues in the present (and will probably continue into the future). This is a state (not an action). We usually use for or since with this structure.

I have worked here since June.
He has been ill for 2 days.
How long have you known Tara?
pastpresentfuture







The situation started in the past.It continues up to now.(It will probably continue into the future.)
Connection with past: the situation started in the past.
Connection with present: the situation continues in the present.

For & Since with Present Perfect Tense

We often use for and since with the present perfect tense.

  • We use for to talk about a period of time - 5 minutes, 2 weeks, 6 years.
  • We use since to talk about a point in past time - 9 o'clock, 1st January, Monday.
forsince
a period of timea point in past time

x------------
20 minutes6.15pm
three daysMonday
6 monthsJanuary
4 years1994
2 centuries1800
a long timeI left school
everthe beginning of time
etcetc

Here are some examples:

  • I have been here for 20 minutes.
  • I have been here since 9 o'clock.
  • John hasn't called for 6 months.
  • John hasn't called since February.
  • He has worked in New York for a long time.
  • He has worked in New York since he left school.
Source:
http://www.englishclub.com/








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Passive Voice

10:15 AM

The passive voice is less usual than the active voice. The active voice is the "normal" voice. But sometimes we need the passive voice. In this lesson we look at how to construct the passive voice, when to use it and how to conjugate it.


Construction of the Passive Voice

The structure of the passive voice is very simple:

subject + auxiliary verb (be) + main verb (past participle)

The main verb is always in its past participle form.

Look at these examples:

subjectauxiliary verb (to be)
main verb (past participle)
Wateris
drunkby everyone.
100 peopleare
employedby this company.
Iam
paidin euro.
Wearenotpaidin dollars.
Arethey
paidin yen?


Use of the Passive Voice

We use the passive when:

  • we want to make the active object more important
  • we do not know the active subject

subjectverbobject
give importance to active object (President Kennedy)President Kennedywas killedby Lee Harvey Oswald.
active subject unknownMy wallethas been stolen.?

Note that we always use by to introduce the passive object (Fish are eaten by cats).


Conjugation for the Passive Voice

We can form the passive in any tense. In fact, conjugation of verbs in the passive tense is rather easy, as the main verb is always in past participle form and the auxiliary verb is always be. To form the required tense, we conjugate the auxiliary verb. So, for example:

  • present simple: It is made
  • present continuous: It is being made
  • present perfect: It has been made

Here are some examples with most of the possible tenses:

infinitiveto be washed
simplepresentIt is washed.
pastIt was washed.
futureIt will be washed.
conditionalIt would be washed.
continuouspresentIt is being washed.
pastIt was being washed.
futureIt will be being washed.
conditionalIt would be being washed.
perfect simplepresentIt has been washed.
pastIt had been washed.
futureIt will have been washed.
conditionalIt would have been washed.
perfect continuouspresentIt has been being washed.
pastIt had been being washed.
futureIt will have been being washed.
conditionalIt would have been being washed.

Sources:

http://www.englishclub.com/

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Countable and Uncountable Nouns

9:16 AM

Countable Nouns

Countable nouns are easy to recognize. They are things that we can count. For example: "pen". We can count pens. We can have one, two, three or more pens. Here are some more countable nouns:

  • dog, cat, animal, man, person
  • bottle, box, litre
  • coin, note, dollar
  • cup, plate, fork
  • table, chair, suitcase, bag

Countable nouns can be singular or plural:

  • My dog is playing.
  • My dogs are hungry.

We can use the indefinite article a/an with countable nouns:

  • A dog is an animal.

When a countable noun is singular, we must use a word like a/the/my/this with it:

  • I want an orange. (not I want orange.)
  • Where is my bottle? (not Where is bottle?)

When a countable noun is plural, we can use it alone:

  • I like oranges.
  • Bottles can break.

We can use some and any with countable nouns:

  • I've got some dollars.
  • Have you got any pens?

We can use a few and many with countable nouns:

  • I've got a few dollars.
  • I haven't got many pens.

Uncountable Nouns

Uncountable nouns are substances, concepts etc that we cannot divide into separate elements. We cannot "count" them. For example, we cannot count "milk". We can count "bottles of milk" or "litres of milk", but we cannot count "milk" itself. Here are some more uncountable nouns:

  • music, art, love, happiness
  • advice, information, news
  • furniture, luggage
  • rice, sugar, butter, water
  • electricity, gas, power
  • money, currency

We usually treat uncountable nouns as singular. We use a singular verb. For example:

  • This news is very important.
  • Your luggage looks heavy.

We do not usually use the indefinite article a/an with uncountable nouns. We cannot say "an information" or "a music". But we can say a something of:

  • a piece of news
  • a bottle of water
  • a grain of rice

We can use some and any with uncountable nouns:

  • I've got some money.
  • Have you got any rice?

We can use a little and much with uncountable nouns:

  • I've got a little money.
  • I haven't got much rice.
Sources:
http://www.englishclub.com/
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Nouns - The Definition

9:14 AM
What are Nouns?
The simple definition is: a person, place or thing. Here are some examples:

* person: man, woman, teacher, John, Mary
* place: home, office, town, countryside, America
* thing: table, car, banana, money, music, love, dog, monkey

The problem with this definition is that it does not explain why "love" is a noun but can also be a verb.

Another (more complicated) way of recognizing a noun is by its:

1. Ending
2. Position
3. Function

1. Noun Ending

There are certain word endings that show that a word is a noun, for example:

* -ity > nationality
* -ment > appointment
* -ness > happiness
* -ation > relation
* -hood > childhood

But this is not true for the word endings of all nouns. For example, the noun "spoonful" ends in -ful, but the adjective "careful" also ends in -ful.

2. Position in Sentence

We can often recognise a noun by its position in the sentence.

Nouns often come after a determiner (a determiner is a word like a, an, the, this, my, such):

* a relief
* an afternoon
* the doctor
* this word
* my house
* such stupidity

Nouns often come after one or more adjectives:

* a great relief
* a peaceful afternoon
* the tall, Indian doctor
* this difficult word
* my brown and white house
* such crass stupidity

3. Function in a Sentence

Nouns have certain functions (jobs) in a sentence, for example:

* subject of verb: Doctors work hard.
* object of verb: He likes coffee.
* subject and object of verb: Teachers teach students.

But the subject or object of a sentence is not always a noun. It could be a pronoun or a phrase. In the sentence "My doctor works hard", the noun is "doctor" but the subject is "My doctor".

Sources:
http://www.englishclub.com/
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Prepositional Verbs

9:00 AM

Prepositional verbs are a group of multi-word verbs made from a verb plus another word or words. Many people refer to all multi-word verbs as phrasal verbs. On these pages we make a distinction between three types of multi-word verbs: prepositional verbs, phrasal verbs and phrasal-prepositional verbs. On this page we look at prepositional verbs.

Prepositional verbs are made of:

verb + preposition

Because a preposition always has an object, all prepositional verbs have direct objects. Here are some examples of prepositional verbs:

prepositional verbsmeaningexamples

direct object
believe inhave faith in the existence ofI believe inGod.
look aftertake care ofHe is looking afterthe dog.
talk aboutdiscussDid you talk aboutme?
wait forawaitJohn is waiting forMary.

Prepositional verbs cannot be separated. That means that we cannot put the direct object between the two parts. For example, we must say "look after the baby". We cannot say "look the baby after":

prepositional verbs are inseparableCorrect!Who is looking after the baby?This is possible.
Not correct!Who is looking the baby after?This is not possible.

Sources:
http://www.englishclub.com/
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Phrasal Verbs

8:43 AM

Phrasal verbs are a group of multi-word verbs made from a verb plus another word or words. Many people refer to all multi-word verbs as phrasal verbs. On these pages we make a distinction between three types of multi-word verbs: prepositional verbs, phrasal verbs and phrasal-prepositional verbs. On this page we look at phrasal verbs proper.

Phrasal verbs are made of:

verb + adverb

Phrasal verbs can be:

  • intransitive (no direct object)
  • transitive (direct object)

Here are some examples of phrasal verbs:


phrasal verbsmeaningexamples

direct object
intransitive phrasal verbsget uprise from bedI don't like to get up.
break downcease to functionHe was late because his car broke down.
transitive phrasal verbsput offpostponeWe will have to put offthe meeting.
turn downrefuseThey turned downmy offer.

Separable Phrasal Verbs

When phrasal verbs are transitive (that is, they have a direct object), we can usually separate the two parts. For example, "turn down" is a separable phrasal verb. We can say: "turn downturn my offer down". Look at this table: my offer" or "

transitive phrasal verbs are
separable
Correct!Theyturned
downmy offer.
Correct!Theyturnedmy offerdown.

However, if the direct object is a pronoun, we have no choice. We must separate the phrasal verb and insert the pronoun between the two parts. Look at this example with the separable phrasal verb "switch on":

direct object pronouns must go between the two parts of transitive phrasal verbsCorrect!Johnswitched
onthe radio.These are all possible.
Correct!Johnswitchedthe radioon.
Correct!Johnswitchediton.
Not correct!Johnswitched
onit.This is not possible.

Sources:
http://www.englishclub.com/
http://www.edufind.com/
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Future Continuous Tense

8:37 AM
The future continuous refers to an unfinished action or event that will be in progress at a time later than now. It is used:
  • to project ourselves into the future and see something happening: This time next week I will be sun-bathing in Bali.
  • to refer to actions/events that will happen in the normal course of events: I'll be seeing Jim at the conference next week.
  • in the interrogative form, especially with 'you', to distinguish between a simple request for information and an invitation: Will you be coming to the party tonight? (= request for information) Will you come to the party? (= invitation)
  • to predict or guess about someone's actions or feelings, now or in the future: You'll be feeling tired after that long walk, I expect.

More examples:

a. events in progress in the future:
When you are in Australia will you be staying with friends?
This time next week you will be working in your new job.
At four thirty on Tuesday afternoon I will be signing the contract.

b. events/actions in normal course of events:
I'll be going into town this afternoon, is there anything you want from the shops?
Will you be using the car tomorrow? - No, you can take it.
I'll be seeing Jane this evening - I'll give her the message.

c. asking for information:
Will you be bringing your friend to the pub tonight?
Will Jim be coming with us?

d. predicting or guessing:
You'll be feeling thirsty after working in the sun.
He'll be coming to the meeting, I expect.
You'll be missing the sunshine now you're back in England.


How do we make the Future Continuous Tense?

The structure of the future continuous tense is:

subject

+

auxiliary verb WILL

+

auxiliary verb BE

+

main verb


invariable


invariable


present participle

will

be

base + ing

For negative sentences in the future continuous tense, we insert not between will and be. For question sentences, we exchange the subject and will. Look at these example sentences with the future continuous tense:


subject

auxiliary verb


auxiliary verb

main verb


+

I

will


be

working

at 10am.

+

You

will


be

lying

on a beach tomorrow.

-

She

will

not

be

using

the car.

-

We

will

not

be

having

dinner at home.

?

Will

you


be

playing

football?

?

Will

they


be

watching

TV?

When we use the future continuous tense in speaking, we often contract the subject and will:

I willI'll
you willyou'll
he will
she will
it will
he'll
she'll
it'll
we willwe'll
they willthey'll

For spoken negative sentences in the future continuous tense, we contract with won't, like this:

I will notI won't
you will notyou won't
he will not
she will not
it will not
he won't
she won't
it won't
we will notwe won't
they will notthey won't

How do we use the Future Continuous Tense?

The future continuous tense expresses action at a particular moment in the future. The action will start before that moment but it will not have finished at that moment. For example, tomorrow I will start work at 2pm and stop work at 6pm:

At 4pm tomorrow, I will be working.
pastpresentfuture

4pm


At 4pm, I will be in the middle of working.

When we use the future continuous tense, our listener usually knows or understands what time we are talking about. Look at these examples:

  • I will be playing tennis at 10am tomorrow.
  • They won't be watching TV at 9pm tonight.
  • What will you be doing at 10pm tonight?
  • What will you be doing when I arrive?
  • She will not be sleeping when you telephone her.
  • We 'll be having dinner when the film starts.
  • Take your umbrella. It will be raining when you return.





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Past Continuous Tense

6:12 AM
The past continuous describes actions or events in a time before now, which began in the past and was still going on at the time of speaking. In other words, it expresses an unfinished or incomplete action in the past.

It is used:
  • often, to describe the background in a story written in the past tense, e.g. "The sun was shining and the birds were singing as the elephant came out of the jungle. The other animals were relaxing in the shade of the trees, but the elephant moved very quickly. She was looking for her baby, and she didn't notice the hunter who was watching her through his binoculars. When the shot rang out, she was running towards the river..."
  • to describe an unfinished action that was interrupted by another event or action: "I was having a beautiful dream when the alarm clock rang."
  • to express a change of mind: e.g. "I was going to spend the day at the beach but I've decided to go on an excursion instead."
  • with 'wonder', to make a very polite request: e.g. "I was wondering if you could baby-sit for me tonight."

More examples:

  • They were waiting for the bus when the accident happened.
  • Caroline was skiing when she broke her leg.
  • When we arrived he was having a bath.
  • When the fire started I was watching television.

How do we make the Past Continuous Tense?

The structure of the past continuous tense is:

subject+auxiliary verb BE+main verb

conjugated in simple past tense
present participle
was
were
base + ing

For negative sentences in the past continuous tense, we insert not between the auxiliary verb and main verb. For question sentences, we exchange the subject and auxiliary verb. Look at these example sentences with the past continuous tense:


subjectauxiliary verb
main verb
+Iwas
watchingTV.
+Youwere
workinghard.
-He, she, itwasnothelpingMary.
-Wewerenotjoking.
?Wereyou
beingsilly?
?Werethey
playingfootball?

How do we use the Past Continuous Tense?

The past continuous tense expresses action at a particular moment in the past. The action started before that moment but has not finished at that moment.

For example, yesterday I watched a film on TV. The film started at 7pm and finished at 9pm.

At 8pm yesterday, I was watching TV.
pastpresentfuture

8pm
At 8pm, I was in the middle of watching TV.

When we use the past continuous tense, our listener usually knows or understands what time we are talking about. Look at these examples:

  • I was working at 10pm last night.
  • They were not playing football at 9am this morning.
  • What were you doing at 10pm last night?
  • What were you doing when he arrived?
  • She was cooking when I telephoned her.
  • We were having dinner when it started to rain.
  • Ram went home early because it was snowing.


Past Continuous Tense + Simple Past Tense

We often use the past continuous tense with the simple past tense. We use the past continuous tense to express a long action. And we use the simple past tense to express a short action that happens in the middle of the long action. We can join the two ideas with when or while.

In the following example, we have two actions:

  1. long action (watching TV), expressed with past continuous tense
  2. short action (telephoned), expressed with simple past tense
pastpresentfuture
Long action.

I was watching TV at 8pm.

8pm



You telephoned at 8pm.
Short action.

We can join these two actions with when:

  • I was watching TV when you telephoned.

(Notice that "when you telephoned" is also a way of defining the time [8pm].)

We use:

  • when + short action (simple past tense)
  • while + long action (past continuous tense)

There are four basic combinations:


I was walking past the carwhenit exploded.
Whenthe car exploded
I was walking past it.

The car explodedwhileI was walking past it.
WhileI was walking past the car
it exploded.

Notice that the long action and short action are relative.

  • "Watching TV" took a few hours. "Telephoned" took a few seconds.
  • "Walking past the car" took a few seconds. "Exploded" took a few milliseconds.
Sources:
http://www.englishclub.com/
http://www.edufind.com/
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The Present Participle

8:43 AM

The present participle of most verbs has the form base+ing and is used in the following ways:

a. as part of the continuous form of a verb
(See continuous tenses in Present Continuous Tense)

Example:

I am working,
he was singing,
they have been walking.

b. after verbs of movement/position in the pattern: verb + present participle

Example:

  • She went shopping
  • He lay looking up at the clouds
  • She came running towards me

This construction is particularly useful with the verb 'to go', as in these common expressions :

to go shopping
to go ski-ing
to go fishing
to go surfing

to go walking
to go swimming
to go running
to go dancing

c. after verbs of perception in the pattern:
verb + object + present participle

Example:

I heard someone singing.
He saw his friend walking along the road.
I can smell something burning!

NOTE: There is a difference in meaning when such a sentence contains a zero-infinitive rather than a participle. The infinitive refers to a complete action, but the participle refers to an incomplete action, or part of an action.

Compare:

  • I heard Joanna singing (= she had started before I heard her, and probably went on afterwards)
  • I heard Joanna sing (= I heard her complete performance)

d. as an adjective

Examples:

amazing, worrying, exciting, boring.

  • It was an amazing film.
  • It's a bit worrying when the police stop you
  • Dark billowing clouds often precede a storm.
  • Racing cars can go as fast as 400kph.
  • He was trapped inside the burning house.
  • Many of his paintings depict the setting sun.

e. with the verbs spend and waste, in the pattern:
verb + time/money expression + present participle

Example:

  • My boss spends two hours a day travelling to work.
  • Don't waste time playing computer games!
  • They've spent the whole day shopping.

f. with the verbs catch and find, in the pattern:
verb + object + present participle:

With catch, the participle always refers to an action which causes annoyance or anger:

  • If I catch you stealing my apples again, there'll be trouble!
  • Don't let him catch you reading his letters.

This is not the case with find, which is unemotional:

  • We found some money lying on the ground.
  • They found their mother sitting in the garden.

g. to replace a sentence or part of a sentence:

When two actions occur at the same time, and are done by the same person or thing, we can use a present participle to describe one of them:

  • They went out into the snow. They laughed as they went. They went laughing out into the snow.

  • He whistled to himself. He walked down the road. Whistling to himself, he walked down the road.

When one action follows very quickly after another done by the same person or thing, we can express the first action with a present participle:

  • He put on his coat and left the house. Putting on his coat, he left the house.

  • She dropped the gun and put her hands in the air. Dropping the gun, she put her hands in the air.

The present participle can be used instead of a phrase starting as, since, because, and it explains the cause or reason for an action:

  • Feeling hungry, he went into the kitchen and opened the fridge.
    (= because he felt hungry...)
  • Being poor, he didn't spend much on clothes.
  • Knowing that his mother was coming, he cleaned the flat.
Source: http://www.edufind.com/
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List of Irregular Verbs With Conjugation

7:42 AM

Irregular verbs are not as easy to learn as regular ones, but it's not that hard, either. Students are often scared at the variety of irregular verbs the English language has, and learning them can be challenging - but fun. One thing is true, though: you'll have to learn them by heart. There have been systems invented to learn irregular verbs easier by ESL programs, but actually the best way is to remember the verbs, by using them, and applying them to different situations. Let's take a look at some common -and not so common- irregular verbs in English:

be - was/were - been

become - became - become

begin - began - begun

break - broke - broken

bring - brought - brought

build - built - built

buy - bought - bought

come - came - come

cost - cost - cost

cut - cut - cut

do - did - done

drink - drank - drunk

eat - ate - eaten

find - found - found

fly - flew - flown

get - got - gotten/got

give - gave - given

go - went - gone

have - had - had

keep - kept - kept

know - knew - known

leave - left - left

make - made - made

meet - met - met

pay - paid - paid

put - put - put

read - read - read

say - said - said

see - saw - seen

sell - sold - sold

send - sent - sent

speak - spoke - spoken

spend - spent - spent

take - took - taken

teach - taught - taught

tell - told - told

think - thought - thought

These are very frequent verbs, and if you take a close look you'll see that the past participle (third column) often repeats the past form. For example:

  • I make my bed every day.
  • I made my bed yesterday.
  • I have made my bed before!

Others, however, suffer a change when used in part participle:
  • I speak with my mother often.
  • I spoke with my mother last Friday.
  • I have recently spoken to my mother.

As with regular verbs, irregular ones are used with different auxiliaries to form tenses. That way, using has or have plus the past participle of a verb will form the present perfect tense:
  • She has taught me a lot about life.

Using had plus past participle forms the past perfect tense:

  • They had always thought her illness could be reverted.

Will is also an auxiliary that forms the future tense. Will have plus a past participle will form the future perfect tense:

  • Tomorrow will be a nice day. (Simple Future)
  • By Friday, I will have finished my assignments (Future Perfect)

For a full list of irregular verbs and exercises you can visit this complete website. To understand fully the way irregular verbs are constructed, the best way is to study and use them, so only practice can lead you to success in this sense. So go ahead, use, study and learn them!

sources : http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Andrea_Phillips

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Verbs that are not normally used in the continuous form

8:18 AM
The verbs in the list below are normally used in the simple form, because they refer to states, rather than actions or processes:

List of common verbs normally used in simple form:

Senses / Perception
feel*, hear, see*, smell, taste

Opinion
assume, believe, consider, doubt, feel (= think), find (= consider), suppose, think*

Mental states
forget, imagine, know, mean, notice, recognise, remember, understand

Emotions / desires
envy, fear, dislike, hate, hope, like, love, mind, prefer, regret, want, wish

Measurement
contain, cost, hold, measure, weigh

Others
look (=resemble), seem, be (in most cases), have (when it means to possess)*

Notes:
1. 'Perception' verbs (see, hear, feel, taste, smell) are often used with 'can': e.g. I can see...
2. * These verbs may be used in the continuous form but with a different meaning, compare:
a. This coat feels nice and warm. (= your perception of the coat's qualities)
b. John's feeling much better now (= his health is improving)
a. She has three dogs and a cat. (=possession)
b. She's having supper. (= She's eating)
a. I can see Anthony in the garden (= perception)
b. I'm seeing Anthony later (= We are planning to meet)

Examples:
  • I wish I was in Greece now.
  • She wants to see him now.
  • I don't understand why he is shouting.
  • I feel we are making a mistake.
  • This glass holds half a litre.
Sources:
http://www.englishclub.com/
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Present Continuous Tense

7:34 AM
The Present Continuous Tense expresses an activity that is in progress at the moment of speaking. It began in the recent past, is continuing at present, and will probably end at some point in the future.
  1. John is sleeping right now.
  2. I need an umbrella because it is raining.
  3. John and Mary are talking on the phone.
Often the activity is of a general nature: something generally in progress this week, this month, this year.
  1. I am taking five courses this semester.
  2. John is trying to improve his work habits.
  3. She is writing another book this year.
Note: for no. (3), the sentence means that writing a book is a general activity she is engaged in at present, but it does not mean that at the moment of speaking she is sitting at her desk with pen in hand.

When someone uses the present continuous, they are thinking about something that is unfinished or incomplete.

The present continuous is used:

  • to describe an action that is going on at this moment e.g. You are using the Internet. You are studying English grammar.
  • to describe an action that is going on during this period of time or a trend, e.g.
    Are you still working for the same company? More and more people are becoming vegetarian.
  • to describe an action or event in the future, which has already been planned or prepared (See also 'Ways of expressing the future) e.g. We're going on holiday tomorrow. I'm meeting my boyfriend tonight. Are they visiting you next winter?
  • to describe a temporary event or situation, e.g. He usually plays the drums, but he's playing bass guitar tonight. The weather forecast was good, but it's raining at the moment.
  • with 'always, forever, constantly', to describe and emphasise a continuing series of repeated actions, e.g. Harry and Sally are always arguing! You're forever complaining about your mother-in-law!

BE CAREFUL! Some verbs are not used in the continuous form - see this part.


How do we use the Present Continuous Tense?

We use the present continuous tense to talk about:

  • action happening now
  • action in the future

Present continuous tense for action happening now

a) for action happening exactly now

I am eating my lunch.

past

present

future





The action is happening now.


b) for action happening around now

The action may not be happening exactly now, but it is happening just before and just after now, and it is not permanent or habitual.

John is going out with Mary.

past

present

future















The action is happening around now.


Look at these examples:

  • Muriel is learning to drive.
  • I am living with my sister until I find an apartment.

Present continuous tense for the future

We can also use the present continuous tense to talk about the future - if we add a future word!! We must add (or understand from the context) a future word. "Future words" include, for example, tomorrow, next year, in June, at Christmas etc. We only use the present continuous tense to talk about the future when we have planned to do something before we speak. We have already made a decision and a plan before speaking.

I am taking my exam next month.

past

present

future


!!!



A firm plan or programme exists now.

The action is in the future.

Look at these examples:

  • We're eating in a restaurant tonight. We've already booked the table..
  • They can play tennis with you tomorrow. They're not working.
  • When are you starting your new job?

In these examples, we have a firm plan or programme before speaking. The decision and plan were made before speaking.


Sources:

http://www.englishclub.com/

http://www.edufind.com/


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Simple Future Tense

10:32 AM

The simple future refers to a time later than now, and expresses facts or certainty. In this case there is no 'attitude'.

The simple future is used:

  • To predict a future event: It will rain tomorrow.
  • (With I/we) to express a spontaneous decision: I'll pay for the tickets by credit card.
  • To express willingness: I'll do the washing-up. He'll carry your bag for you.
  • (In the negative form) to express unwillingness: The baby won't eat his soup. I won't leave until I've seen the manager!
  • (With I in the interrogative form) to make an offer: Shall I open the window?
  • (With we in the interrogative form) to make a suggestion: Shall we go to the cinema tonight?
  • (With I in the interrogative form) to ask for advice or instructions: What shall I tell the boss about this money?
  • (With you) to give orders: You will do exactly as I say.
  • (With you) to give an invitation: Will you come to the dance with me?
  • Will you marry me?

How do we make the Simple Future Tense?

The structure of the simple future tense is:

subject

+

auxiliary verb WILL

+

main verb


invariable


base

will

V1

For negative sentences in the simple future tense, we insert not between the auxiliary verb and main verb. For question sentences, we exchange the subject and auxiliary verb. Look at these example sentences with the simple future tense:


subject

auxiliary verb


main verb


+

I

will


open

the door.

+

You

will


finish

before me.

-

She

will

not

be

at school tomorrow.

-

We

will

not

leave

yet.

?

Will

you


arrive

on time?

?

Will

they


want

dinner?

When we use the simple future tense in speaking, we often contract the subject and auxiliary verb:

I will

I'll

you will

you'll

he will
she will
it will

he'll
she'll
it'll

we will

we'll

they will

they'll

For negative sentences in the simple future tense, we contract with won't, like this:

I will not

I won't

you will not

you won't

he will not
she will not
it will not

he won't
she won't
it won't

we will not

we won't

they will not

they won't

How do we use the Simple Future Tense?

No Plan

We use the simple future tense when there is no plan or decision to do something before we speak. We make the decision spontaneously at the time of speaking. Look at these examples:

  • Hold on. I'll get a pen.
  • We will see what we can do to help you.
  • Maybe we'll stay in and watch television tonight.

In these examples, we had no firm plan before speaking. The decision is made at the time of speaking.

We often use the simple future tense with the verb to think before it:

  • I think I'll go to the gym tomorrow.
  • I think I will have a holiday next year.
  • I don't think I'll buy that car.

Prediction

We often use the simple future tense to make a prediction about the future. Again, there is no firm plan. We are saying what we think will happen. Here are some examples:

  • It will rain tomorrow.
  • People won't go to Jupiter before the 22nd century.
  • Who do you think will get the job?

Be

When the main verb is be, we can use the simple future tense even if we have a firm plan or decision before speaking. Examples:

  • I'll be in London tomorrow.
  • I'm going shopping. I won't be very long.
  • Will you be at work tomorrow?

Sources:
http://www.englishclub.com/
http://www.edufind.com/

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