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Questions tagged [aspect]

Aspect is the grammatical category which describes the manner in which an utterance presents an event unfolding over time.

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distinguishing between tense and aspect

I am trying to prepare handouts about tense use in English. Many sources I look at mention anywhere from 12 to 16 different tenses. But based on other websites, it seems to me what they are calling ...
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Potential Subject Verb Agreement error - in an English Textbook

"In what ways do the past affect the present?" I read the above in an English textbook. So that the verb agrees with "the past", should we have used "affects" instead of "affect"?
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Difference in usage of the below sentences

Can you explain which of the below sentences is grammatically correct and why? I watched you playing with them. I watched you play with them. I have a grammar correction app which suggests ...
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how to interpret the progressive form "be winning"

I read the following example sentence in Eastwood‘s Oxford Guide to English Grammar : You are lucky to be winning. Also in OED is the same construct- that of the progressive found: the ...
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Verb form for 3 time-points successive actions

Take a look at the sentence: I has understood subject only after had watched this video. I had been thinking what it is something different. So there is 3 successive time-points: think → watch → ...
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certainty values and tense - difference in the use of 'may' modals

what is the difference between the following in terms of meaning (potentiality/permission) may go may be going may have gone is it valid to say that 'may go' has greater certainty than 'may have ...
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Is “She broke the dishes when she washed them” really incorrect?

(1) She broke the dishes when she was washing them. (2) She broke the dishes when she washed them. My textbook says (1) is correct and (2) is incorrect. But I found some sentences similar to (2)....
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I had a bullet going through my arm x I had a bullet go through my arm

I already know the main use of have when it's is used as a command: I had the security kick him out. I also know its use in sentences of cause, for example: His jokes were so funny that they ...
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have lunch, eat lunch

Most often you would interchangeably use either of the following, meaning you had an occasion of consuming the meal at that time. I had lunch at two thirty. I ate lunch at two thirty. Now, if you ...
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The progressive futurate is not aspectual: meaning?

Both the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (CGEL) by Pullum and Oxford Modern English Grammar (OMEG) by Aarts clearly say that the progressive futurate (i.e., the present progressive ...
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A: I have a fever; B: Do you take anything for it? (B is using tenses unsuitably right?)

A: I have a fever I would think B needs to response B: Have you taken anything (medicine) for it? (an action happened in the past but we don't know when it happened) or B: Did you take ...
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Which phrase should be used?

She could not tell whether her diamond earrings were beautiful. She had lost her eyesight for years/ had been blind for years. In the second sentence, which phrase should I use, 'had lost her ...
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Present Perfect Continuous - effect

Take the following sentence: I have been learning for two hours. Can this imply that I am not learning now? I'm tired and I want this sentence to show the effect that learning has on me. Or it is ...
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Using an adjective after “turn”

Are we allowed to use any adjective after the word "turn"? For example: turn hot turn cold turn red turn white turn salty
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“For” and “in” with present perfect tense

Consider: a. I have learned English for 6 months. b. I have learned English in 6 months. Are the two sentences above grammatically correct? Do they carry the same meaning?
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563 views

Originate or originated

What is the difference between. The word originates from Thai The word originated from Thai Could someone please explain to me, thanks before.
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Start vs Start Up

I have a question about the difference between verb "start" and verb phrase "start up". According to these definitions for "start" and "start up" in this dictionary, these sentences: 1a. The ...
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Using bare infinitive with verbs such as “see”, “watch”, etc.: Present tense or Past Tense?

I know using the bare infinitive after verbs such as hear, see, watch, etc. conveys a different meaning from using the present participle (verb+ing): I watched him climbing over the fence ( ...
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The use of “how would you be knowing that?”

I ran into "how would you be knowing that?" when reading a novel. I did a search in Google Books. It seems to be a fairly productive use: “And how would you be knowing that?” “Billy's your brother ...
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Imperfective and perfective aspects of verb “glow”

The following six examples are taken from Google Books: Now that they were up close, it was clear that one section of the wall was glowing a much deeper green than the rest. Jack moved next to ...
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When you watch / when you're watching

I'm making English subtitles for a French film and I'm having trouble with this sentence: When you watch a Hitchcock film, you work all the time. When you're watching a Hitchcock film, you're ...
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What tense is this? 'Despite their already having paid the money…'

I was reading a piece of writing recently and I came across a very strangely phrased sentence that took me a while to understand. Can anyone identify the sentence's tense or really just what makes it ...
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Present perfect or past simple with since

I think it should be: Since my father has joined this post, he has not taken bribe. The book I am reading says the correct one is: Since my father joined this post, he has not taken bribe. ...
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Verbs modified by the adverb “never”

Some verbs follow the adverb "never" must not take the form of present tense, and others don't have to. I mean: "It never exists" sounds strange, yet "It never existed" is natural But "It never ...
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Do we have to use “will + verb” when using “till”

In present and future time references, do we have to use the future aspect before "till" Sentence I: The hair and nails will continue to grow till you die. I ask, because, to my mind, the act of ...
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Difference: 'leave somebody wondering' vs. 'make somebody wonder'?

Is there a difference between (a) 'leave somebody wondering' and (b) 'make somebody wonder'? If so, what difference? Is there some difference in aspect? For example, does 'leave somebody wondering' ...
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sat or were sitting

Please have a look at this I stood in front of the living room, watching the movie unfold on the tv screen while my mom and sister - whose idea it was to watch the film in the first place - sat ...
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Tense and aspect in 'since' clause

Consider: I have not heard from him since he lived here. (Activity) How long is it since you were in London? (State) John is now with his parents in New York city, it is already three ...
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Verbs which do not admit of progressive action

she stands/ is standing in the shade of a tree. (is standing is correct.) The temple stands/ is standing in the heart of the city. (stands is correct). As per grammar rules there are some ...
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Tense agreement and sentence construction

So, she called me yesterday; we talked about a lot of stuff, and then she kind of slipped it out that it wouldn't be all that bad if I asked her out today. I found myself wondering how it'd go, and ...
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Is it true that the preposition “for” can not be used in present and past continuous tenses?

Previously, I asked the question about words of place where one was born but not raised. In the question, I wrote: I know a girl who was born in Melbourne but she was raised in Japan. Then she ...
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Ben {planned / was planning} to go, but now . . . simple past or past progressive?

There was a question in my text book like this: Ben ____ to go to his high school class reunion tomorrow, but now he is not sure if he can. (A) plans (B) will plan (C) has planned (D) was ...
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Use of “I'm loving”

The couple screenshots are taken from Riddick 2013: The two characters use "I'm loving", which I think is very informal. Does the present progressive tense convey any subtle nuances which the simple ...
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The electricity has been going off/ has been off

For example: It's 9:00 p.m and at 7 p.m the electricity went off. Which tense is correct and what is the difference in meaning between these tenses? The electricity has been going off for 2 hours....
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Why do we KEEP changing our minds? [closed]

why do we say someone 'keeps changing their mind'? when keeping an opinion or decision is not happening. I know it means to repeatedly change one's mind but why 'keep'? I've been wondering this for ...
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Asking question regarding future

I have a scenario in which I am asking someone "When she get the accommodation in university?" She said "She will get the accommodation when she will be 22." Now I want to turn this into ...
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“telic” vs. “atelic” sentence

John stopped drinking beer. In one grammar book there is something written about this sentence. "If the clause can be added to stop in the form of an ing-clause, the sentence is atelic." I am ...
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Time of situation and time referred to

1) He died of lung cancer. [Tr coextensive with Tsit] 2) I already knew how to do it. [Tr included within Tsit] Here How do we know the time of situation and time referred to? and In my own ...
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Multiple transformations of one sentence?

Given a sentence A: Despite the heavy rain, rescue workers continued to work. Now, I was supposed to transform this sentence into another sentence, which began with Even, without changing the ...
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473 views

Should I use the Present Simple or Continuous to say that a word is (being) used in a sentence?

Here are some pieces from my previous posts: A sentence from The Magician's Nephew. Down and down they rushed, first through darkness and then through a mass of vague and whirling shapes which ...
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What do “from inside” and “from outside” mean in discussing grammatical Aspect?

While reading ASPECT concept am not getting the terms "from outside" and "from inside" from the sentence "The situation is presented from outside versus the situation is presented from inside." ...
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shouldn't the order of sentence describing participle clause be changed here?

OP: Whistling to himself, he walked down the road. = He whistled to himself as he walked down the road. Shouldn't it be like this? He walked down the road as he whistled to himself? I saw a ...
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be to be verb-ing

Will English speakers use 'be to be verb-ing' to form a sentence? See the examples below: a) You are to be presenting your group project during the next lesson. b) I am to be studying in school from ...
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“By now” with the present perfect continuous

Recently one of my students has come across a sentence in "Advanced Language Practice" by M.Vince that caused some confusion. The sentence is: "Nothing much has been happening by now / so far" ...
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A question about the tenses

Consider: I had hoped to visit the gallery before I left Florence, but it's closed on Monday. Q1 : Shouldn't it be it was closed ? Q2 : Does present simple Imply more definite sense ? I mean "it ...
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Should I use past simple or past perfect

Before I made a second order that did well, I had thought my first order had not gone through.But when I received the confirmation for both orders, I knew the first order had also succeeded. I ...
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How can I use “do you be”?

Example with a context (audio): Yeah, when you don't know somebody very well and they just unload all this information on you, you don't really know how to deal with that situation. Do you be ...
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is it the first time you {came / come / have come} to France?

Can a Frenchman say: "Is it the first time you came to France?" to English people on holiday in France? I think it is possible because the action of coming to France is finished: they are in France ...
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How do I decide which of two past events took place first?

The people had taken shelter under a tree until the rain stopped. took shelter will be the 1st action The people took shelter under a tree until the rain had stopped. rain stop will be the 1st ...
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Why use the past perfect tense (perfect aspect) instead of the simple past tense (simple aspect)?

Usage example in a BBC News story: What of the late politician's love life? Even admirers used the epithet "womaniser" in regard to him. However, the Ukrainian model less than half his age (he ...