I'm just starting to learn English. And I get confused with the definition of the forms and tenses of verbs.

Task: Define the form of the verb.

Cellular phones are now dialing up the Internet to provide e-mail.

"To provide" - the verb has the first form. And "dialing up" - Present Progressive Tense. Is this a present participle? So there is no need to define the form?

  • Excuse me if I'm wrong (
    – Just Study
    May 2, 2020 at 19:39
  • Welcome to English Stack Exchange! I am a little confused on what you are trying to say in the sentence. However, I can tell you that I, living in America and having spoken English my whole life, would never say 'dialing up.' Maybe you can write the sentence in your native language, and I can help you out. May 2, 2020 at 20:10
  • @Haversine Thank you. This sentence is given from the task.
    – Just Study
    May 2, 2020 at 20:11
  • Oh, now I understand. Yes, this is a present progressive because it is an ongoing activity at the present time. May 2, 2020 at 20:13
  • @Haversine I'm sorry for the stupid question: If we are talking about defining the verb form, then you do not need to do this for "dialing up" in this sentence?
    – Just Study
    May 2, 2020 at 20:14

1 Answer 1


The verb we are dealing with is 'dialing'. It would not be 'to provide' because 'to provide' is the purpose of 'dialing'.

And in this case, 'dialing' would be a present progressive verb because it is an ongoing action in the present time.

I hope that helps! Let me know if you need further clarification.

  • Well, how can I give an answer, I'm not asked to specify the verb tense, only a verb form? Present Participle?
    – Just Study
    May 2, 2020 at 20:23
  • @JustStudy In general, the term verb form includes the notion of verb tense. However, it could be the case that in your particular textbook, they use it differently - we can't tell without looking at the textbook. The form of "are dialing up" is present progressive tense, third person plural, indicative mood. "dialing up" is a present participle in this context.
    – RuslanD
    May 2, 2020 at 22:10
  • "Provide" is a plain (base) form, and "dialling" is a gerund-participle form. Note that "up" is not part of the verb, but a separate word, a preposition.
    – BillJ
    May 3, 2020 at 8:06
  • @BillJ Thank you so much! dial up — phrasal verb with dial verb by dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/dial-up Haversine, RuslanD thank you too. I am a beginner, so I don’t understand what is obvious to you. P. S. However, I try to make sense of it.
    – Just Study
    May 3, 2020 at 16:30

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .