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7 votes

I'm giving up vs. I give up

Both of your examples are correct and would be understood as meaning the same thing. A slight nuance might be I give up has more of a finality to it, you are already done with dealing with ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 66.3k
7 votes
Accepted

He could be playing with his friends

They are both correct, and on one level, they both mean the same thing: it is possible that he could be playing with his friends. On another level, they mean something different; #1 means "It is ...
stangdon's user avatar
  • 40.9k
6 votes

He could be playing with his friends

suggests that John may actually be playing with his friends (as he is not to be found in his room). suggests that John ought to be playing with his friends (rather than reading in his room). The ...
Ronald Sole's user avatar
  • 25.8k
6 votes

Simple present or progressive present wiht "say"?

(1) What does the book say? is by far the most natural. A book isn't in the process of saying something; the information is already printed there. For (2), both tenses might be possible, if the ...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 57.3k
4 votes

Can we use the verb 'own' in the progressive tense?

As a result, cell phones are now commonplace, with at least 85 percent of adults in the U.S and the U.K owning one. The Original Poster asks if we can use own in progressive ('continuous') ...
Araucaria - Not here any more.'s user avatar
4 votes

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

Grammar is like water, in that speakers will take the path of least resistance. Things begin to become ungrammatical, or at the very least unidiomatic, when the water starts flowing upstream, as it ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 130k
4 votes
Accepted

Present simple or progressive

In order to pay tuition fees and other expenses he works / is working four days a week in the university kitchen, while in the university holidays he does a part-time job. I'm not sure about the work ...
rjpond's user avatar
  • 23.1k
4 votes

going absolutely crazy

In this context, it's the same difference as between "they were eating salad" and "they ate salad". You seem to be confusing the two meanings of "go crazy": 1 : to ...
gotube's user avatar
  • 50.9k
3 votes

I have "been writing" or "written" six letters since morning. Which is correct?

Depending on the situation, either 1 or 2 could be correct. If you started writing these six letters in the morning and are still writing them, then you use the first variant. If you've already ...
nicael's user avatar
  • 302
3 votes
Accepted

has ailed vs. has been ailing

Both of your sentences are correct and mean the ailment was in the past and continues This problem has ailed me for a long time. This problem has been ailing me for a long time. if the ailment ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 66.3k
3 votes

The sun <is setting/is going to set/will set/will be setting> at five tomorrow

To understand this you need to firstly be aware of how to use the present continuous to talk about the future: The present progressive indicating a future event speaks about arrangements for events ...
SovereignSun's user avatar
  • 25.1k
3 votes

Janet is going on a vacation. (is this progressive or future?)

This is the present continuous/progressive construction. It can refer to either present or future time. You can't tell from the words alone. From general knowledge of how people talk, it probably ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
3 votes
Accepted

I may have been trying to reach her. (is this tense a past progressive or present perfect progressive?)

It means: It's possible that I was trying to reach her. Only you can say why the speaker doesn't know whether they were trying or not! The distinction between may and might has become rather blurred;...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 57.3k
3 votes

Why do we use "make sense" rather than "making sense"?

The first example is in the present simple because it is stating a truth, a simple fact. A plan works or it doesn't. A plan can either make sense or not. This plan works. My plan makes a lot of sense....
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
  • 27.8k
2 votes

Who was working while you were in Saigon?

"Who was working in the shop while you were away?" is more natural. In the second sentence, the use of "has been working" emphasises the work rather than who did it. I would use the phrase "who has ...
Elby Cloud's user avatar
2 votes

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

I see this differently from Teacher KSHuang's answer. "So far" means up to this point, which implies that something is not yet complete. "Developed", past tense, implies completion, so "what I have ...
fixer1234's user avatar
  • 5,706
2 votes

Difference in meaning between 'While I was reading a book' and 'While I read a book'?

Reading a book is not instantaneous like an explosion, or the blink of an eye, but an activity that requires some time. Nonetheless, when we use the past tense of the verb, as you do in your examples, ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 130k
2 votes

The right way to express continuing process in passive form

English has been studied by me for several years. This is correct but very unnatural sounding.
Jessica M's user avatar
  • 466
2 votes
Accepted

The right way to express continuing process in passive form

English has been studying by me for several years. This is not valid English: has been studying is active voice and will not sustain the agentive complement by me. English is studied by me for ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
2 votes

What is happening or what happens in this sentence

When people say things like We'll see what happens or We'll see what he does or We'll see how they respond, the context is usually some decision which has just been reached or some plan of action&...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

"Have to" in the progressive

Your first example is not incorrect but it would more usually be expressed as Because I had to finish the project today, I had to stay late at work. But that's not because there's anything wrong ...
The Photon's user avatar
  • 10.4k
2 votes
Accepted

Will it be acceptable to use continuous here

The wind was blowing and an owl hooted in a tree above me. This indicates that the wind was blowing throughout the period being described, or repeatedly, and that the owl hooted once (or gave a ...
rjpond's user avatar
  • 23.1k
2 votes

Is “I was wanting to know” grammatically correct?

"I was wanting to know" is fine. Use 'send', not 'sent', then it will be OK. Using a complex construction like I was wondering whether... or I was wanting to know if ... is one way to be polite, as a ...
Michael Harvey's user avatar
2 votes

What is the difference between future continuous and future perfect continuous?

If you want to indicate the duration of an event at a specific time in the future, you can use the future perfect progressive. This event will happen before a particular time in the future, yet hasn't ...
re_nez's user avatar
  • 527
2 votes
Accepted

Present Simple or Present Continuous with "these days"

The present simple can also refer to things in the period around 'now'. It can be used for statements of general truth ("the sky is blue") or for conditions that pertain ("I know how to change a ...
SamBC's user avatar
  • 22.8k
2 votes
Accepted

Is it ok to say 'We were wanting to book a trip to Sardinia'?

This is another case where the formal understanding of the combination of tense and aspect does not match how it is used. Formally, that would be used in a description of the past, describe a want ...
SamBC's user avatar
  • 22.8k
2 votes
Accepted

Present perfect simple for an unfinished action

First, what you have in your example is the past perfect (I had walked) not the present perfect (I have walked). That said, yes, in this case, the past perfect progressive conveys basically the same ...
Obie 2.0's user avatar
  • 1,290
2 votes

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

Both are correct depending on the context. Since "feel sick" is a continuous verb and there is an indicator of a duration of time,"Since she started journey," both present perfect ...
HypnoticBuggyWraithVirileBevy's user avatar

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