Questions tagged [progressive-aspect]

Questions related to the grammatical aspect that expresses an incomplete action or a state at a specific point in time. For specific tenses, see the tags 'present-progressive', 'present-continuous', 'future-progressive', 'past-continuous' and 'perfect-continuous'.

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16 votes
2 answers
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"Have been doing" and "have done"

What's the difference between I have been playing tennis for five years. and I have played tennis for five years. Are they grammatically correct? If yes, how are they different in meaning/...
user1677's user avatar
  • 463
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Stative verbs in the progressive

I posted a question today about "Have to / having to?"and I used the verb "find" in the progressive.: I'm finding more and more that "having to" is also used instead of "have to". Someone comments ...
daemang's user avatar
  • 385
11 votes
3 answers
18k views

This is the first time vs. This is the last time

Why do we use the present perfect with This is the first time, but the present simple/continuous with This is the last time, i.e. This is the first time I have done it. vs. This is the last ...
Mori's user avatar
  • 2,191
10 votes
3 answers
23k views

Have to / having to?

As fas as I know, "have to" is the commoner version of the two, but I'm finding more and more that "having to" is also used instead of "have to". She has to / is having to look after herself now. ...
SC_R's user avatar
  • 101
8 votes
2 answers
5k views

Present Perfect and Past Progressive with wait

Imagine that you're waiting for your friend X and you finally meet him. Is it better to use Past Progressive or Present Perfect here? I've been waiting for you for 5 hours. or I was waiting for ...
Vlad Stryapko's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
708 views

"we will discontinue the feature" vs. "we will be discontinuing the feature"

From the Poetry Foundation website's Favorites page: Due to needed upgrades to our website, we will be discontinuing our Favorites feature and user accounts effective Sunday, March 27, 2016. We ...
CowperKettle's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
30k views

what's the difference between did and was doing?

Here are examples of the sentences. What is the difference between them? They seem to be almost the same to me so I don’t exactly understand the difference. We worked from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ...
user8402's user avatar
  • 419
6 votes
2 answers
73k views

have lived vs have been living [duplicate]

Is it correct to say: 1) I've lived in London for five years. Or 2) I've been living in London for five years. I think second one is correct because we use present perfect continuous for ...
m903's user avatar
  • 71
6 votes
3 answers
31k views

"is still being used" versus "is still used"

I once asked a question with the title: Is the word cloths still being used? And someone edited it to: Is the word cloths still used? Why is the first progressive one wrong?
Santi Santichaivekin's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
9k views

"I will be loving you 'til we're 70" vs. "I will love you 'til we're 70"

From Ed Sheeran's song Thinking Out Loud: And, darling, I will be loving you 'til we're 70 Why is it not And, darling, I will love you 'til we're 70 ? Why is progressive used here?
user132181's user avatar
  • 1,606
6 votes
2 answers
9k views

(How many years) have you been married?/studying English?

Grammar books set rules for ELL when they want to ask questions to use present perfect form for counting, and present perfect progressive for periods of time. Now what if you want to ask about a ...
learner's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
524 views

"Our house gets really cold when the wind is blowing/blows from the east"

I know about the grammar rule that says, when A happens while B is happening (as a longer background situation), you use the simple tense for A and the progressive tense for B. According to this rule,...
Færd's user avatar
  • 1,980
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

They were angry because they had waited (had been waiting) for too long

Inspired by a past-perfect vs. present-perfect online test: They were angry because they had waited for too long. and They were angry because they had been waiting for too long. Are both ...
CowperKettle's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
2k views

What's the difference: We had hoped 'to live/to be living' in our new house by now...

We had hoped to live/to be living in our new house by now, but the builders are still working on it. UPDATED: I mean what is semantically the difference between to live and to be living there? Why ...
nima's user avatar
  • 5,817
5 votes
4 answers
388 views

were having to make everything up

When he talks of "enemies of the people", the analogies with Stalinist Russia and other 20th-century regimes are so glaring that you have to keep reminding yourself that the French Revolutionaries ...
bart-leby's user avatar
  • 8,673
5 votes
2 answers
4k views

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 ...
Michael Rybkin's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
51k views

Can I use "are being " + past participle?

Sentences with form "are being " + past tense are they correct form of grammar. And what tense do they represent. like: You are being missed. Thanks
prit kalra's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
4k views

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 ...
Yves Lefol's user avatar
  • 7,519
5 votes
1 answer
936 views

"Have you ever seen anyone walk (walking) the streets like that?"

Have you ever seen anyone walk the streets like that? Have you ever seen anyone walking the streets like that? Are both the above sentences grammatically correct? Do they mean the same? I saw him ...
lekon chekon's user avatar
  • 2,707
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

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 ...
ironsand's user avatar
  • 927
4 votes
3 answers
26k views

This is the first time + continuous

I know that the standard construction with "this is the first time" is the Present Perfect. 1) This is the first time I have driven a car. But what if the action is still in progress and I am ...
user1425's user avatar
  • 4,410
4 votes
2 answers
4k views

"while they wait" - why not "while they are waiting"?

Here is a sentence that is on my textbook. Customers can now sit down comfortably while they 'wait' for their number to be called out. In my opinion, conjunction 'while' is compatible with ...
jihoon's user avatar
  • 3,716
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

present progressive impossible with "when"

Could you explain me why "is cooking" is a wrong answer Who is cooking food in your family when your Mom is away? (Incorrect) Who cooks food in your family when your Mom is away? (Correct) If ...
Yves Lefol's user avatar
  • 7,519
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

How to ask how long will something continue in future?

What is the appropriate way of asking question about how long an event will continue in future? I want to ask, eg: How many more days will the product be in stock? (incorrect?) How long will the ...
MAKZ's user avatar
  • 607
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

"Girls wearing glasses" vs. "Girls who wear glasses"

I'm having slight difficulties with a particular kind of sentences. I'd like you to check on my interpretation of differences occuring in the following sentences: A1. They're just a bunch of guys ...
Bebop B.'s user avatar
  • 1,145
4 votes
2 answers
4k views

"What I've been developing so far" or "What I've developed so far"?

a) Give me 5 minutes so I can show you what I've been developing so far. b) Give me 5 minutes so I can show you what I've developed so far. I am bit confused which one should i use present perfect ...
Yogesh Raut's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
613 views

Simple Past Tense or Past Progressive Tense?

So, I'm trying to figure out what the correct verb tense for the following would be: It's happening again. However, this time it feels completely different from when it happened earlier... OR: ...
Sinow's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
1 answer
177 views

progressive tense in that sentence

SOURCE Case in point: Javier Escovedo. Javier Escovedo, who most people know as one of the founding members of The Zeros, The True Believers and one of the pioneers of the ‘70’s West Coast punk ...
Yves Lefol's user avatar
  • 7,519
4 votes
2 answers
20k views

"what do you say" vs. "what are you saying"

After the athlete finished the race, a reporter comes up and asks a question. Which one is better? What are you saying to your performance? What do you say to your performance?
bart-leby's user avatar
  • 8,673
4 votes
2 answers
139 views

"Can't be sleepin'"

From the beginning of Calvin Harris' song Blame: Can't be sleepin' Keep on waking Without the woman next to me Guilt is burning Inside I'm hurting This ain't a feeling I can keep Does ...
user132181's user avatar
  • 1,606
3 votes
2 answers
22k views

"I have been 'verb-ing'" vs. "I had been 'verb-ing'"

A. I have been studying English for one year. B. I had been studying English for one year. Could one who hears those sentences argue that "A" case implies "and I am still studying it&...
user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
472 views

going absolutely crazy

What's the difference in meaning between the following sentences? Does the first mean the fans were not absolutely crazy yet, just as John was not dead yet in "John was dying"? The fans ...
Apollyon's user avatar
  • 5,986
3 votes
2 answers
41 views

Simple present or progressive present wiht "say"?

What tense and aspect should be used in both these cases, and why? "What does the book say" vs "What is the book saying" "What does your intuition say" vs " What is ...
Manas Ranjan Nayak's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
189 views

Complicated sentences in past perfect regarding hypothetical situations with reflection on the past?

Would have had to have been doing, e.g.: For him to have become a threat in the teachers eyes, he would have had to have been exhibiting severely bad behavior all the time. Would have had to be ...
user79773's user avatar
  • 141
3 votes
2 answers
26k views

"I'm sorry, I haven't written (or "haven't been writing") to you for a while" - which is better?

My question is simple. Which one sounds more natural to you? 1) I'm sorry, I haven't written to you for a while. 2) I'm sorry, I haven't been writing to you for a while. I think 2 is better. Do ...
user1425's user avatar
  • 4,410
3 votes
1 answer
82 views

Why the present progressive tense is used in "you are coming from"

In a brand's advertising commentary, there is “You don’t have to say a word to let them know where you are coming from”. I am wondering why the present progressive tense is used in "you are coming ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
5k views

"I have never done it" vs "I have never been doing it"

"I have never been dating." I heard some non-native speaker said it. For me it should be just Present Perfect ("I have never dated.") Because my grammar book says that an absence of some action in ...
mosceo's user avatar
  • 7,266
3 votes
1 answer
797 views

has ailed vs. has been ailing

First off, take a look at these two examples please: Example #1: This problem has ailed me for a long time. Example #2: This problem has been ailing me for a long time. Do you think you could ...
Michael Rybkin's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
431 views

'seeing' in the progressive?

I put the same question up on EL&U a few other forums, but I don't get it well yet. So I'm putting it up again with some touches. I really want to know the meanings of the verb 'see' and 'hear' ...
daemang's user avatar
  • 385
3 votes
1 answer
97 views

"Everyone at school was looking at what I wore" - why not "Everyone at school looked at what I was wearing"?

When I was a teenager, I used to think that everyone at school was looking at me and judging what I looked like, what I wore, and how I acted. Why "everyone at school was looking at me and judging" ...
TooNaive's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

She visiting (?) my house, I was studying English

I felt this sentence that uses participial construction is unnatural but I don't know why. She visiting my house, I was studying English. Is that because of the verb, visit? I'm non-native ...
02l4's user avatar
  • 189
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Have been/ was... difference in meaning?

I've been studying all morning. I've been studying all morning long. I was studying all morning. How are the first, and the third different in meaning? What's the difference between the first, and ...
lekon chekon's user avatar
  • 2,707
3 votes
2 answers
25k views

Are "I was understanding" and "I am understanding" grammatical?

I know the phrases "I understand" (present) and "I understood" (past). But recently I saw the phrases "I was understanding" and "I am understanding" (e.g. "Okay. I was understanding it"). I think ...
Sandy's user avatar
  • 131
2 votes
2 answers
252 views

Can 'at the moment' be so long as to read a novel?

I am reading ‘Middlemarch’ at the moment. Some situations are not strictly continuous but allow for gaps, and the concept of ‘in progress at Tr’ is perfectly consistent with Tr actually coinciding ...
Listenever's user avatar
  • 24.2k
2 votes
3 answers
11k views

"The links are not working" vs. "the links don't work"

My manager at work has sent me two links for competitors in order to check their products. Unfortunately, these links are not working. I want to send a reply to my manager to inform her of this ...
user3110137's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
16k views

I'm giving up vs. I give up

Are both of the following sentences grammatically correct and, if so, is there any siginificant difference between simple and progressive aspect here? I give up (on sth. / sb.) I'm giving up (...
ParaDice's user avatar
  • 477
2 votes
3 answers
30k views

I've been having/I have had a headache since I woke up

I've been having a headache since I woke up. vs I've had a headache since I woke up. English Grammar in Use suggests the latter. But what should I do if I want to emphasize the painful ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 51
2 votes
5 answers
3k views

"has felt"/"has been feeling" - why is the first wrong here?

I know that both a) She has walked for two hours. and b) She has been walking for two hours. mean the same thing: that she started walking two hours back and is still walking. So according to the ...
Ramteja Guthikonda's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
5k views

"I'll phone you tonight": why is this not proper?

(1) I phone her tonight. (2) I’m phoning her tonight. (The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language) (1) and (2) are all possible expressions: (1) as a schedule or plan, (2) could be used in the ...
Listenever's user avatar
  • 24.2k
2 votes
2 answers
7k views

What is happening or what happens in this sentence

As I heard too many times , people use this sentence "we will see what happens " Shouldn't it be "we will see what is happening" ? Because the thing to happen is simultaneous with the verb 'seeing' ...
d.alex's user avatar
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