Thursday, 17 May 2018

Dialogues Using Present Continuous Tense

ContentsGrammar in Dialogues → Dialogues Using Present Continuous Tense

Read and understand the following explanations on usage of the Present Continuous Tense and then examine illustrative examples from the works of literature.

The Present Continuous Using: Explanations 

Generally: The present tense regularly expresses something occurring now, in the present. Where continuing action is emphasized, the present continuous (present progressive) is used: The system is working very well. She is sleeping quietly now. For grammar details, see "The Continuous Forms" page.

 I. The Present Continuous expresses an action which is going on at the moment of speaking (see dialogues 1, 2).

 ►Note 1. Stative verbs denoting physical perceptions, emotions, wish, mental processes, etc are not used in the Present Continuous. The Present Indefinite is used instead (see dialogue 3).

 II. The Present Continuous expresses an action going on at the present period of time (dialogues 4, 5).

 III. The Present Continuous may express an action in progress which is simultaneous with some other action or state denoted by the verb in the Present Indefinite. The action in the Present Indefinite is recurrent action that always taken place against the background of the action in the Present Continuous. The use of the Present Continuous makes such sentence emotionally coloured. (See dialogues 6, 7.)

Monday, 21 March 2016

Future Perfect How to Use

ContentsGrammar in Dialogues → How to Use Past Perfect

Read and understand the following explanations on usage of Future Perfect tense and then examine illustrative examples from Classics.

 1. The Future Perfect expresses an action accomplished before a given future moment. The given future moment is usually expressed by adverbial phrases, clauses of time or understood from the situation (see dialogues 1, 2, 3).

Note: In adverbial clauses of time introduced by the conjunctions when, before, after, as soon as, till and until the Present Perfect is found to express a future action. It shows that the action of the subordinate clause will be accomplished before the action of the principal clause (which is usually expressed by the Future Indefinite) (dialogues 4, 5).

 2. The Future Perfect is very occasionally used to express an action which begins before a given future moment and continues into it. This use is found with stative verbs (dialogue 6).

Stative Verbs Definition

Stative Verb. A stative verb is one that is not normally used in progressive (or continuous) tenses. Most stative verbs refer to states, not to actions or events.
Examples: remember; contain; know; prefer; like; hear.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

When to Use Past Perfect Tense

ContentsGrammar in Dialogues → Past Perfect (When to Use)


In this page we examine the Past Perfect Tense in a detail: what it actually means and how it is used. Some illustrative extracts from English literature are given below.

Past Perfect expresses an action accomplished before a given past moment and viewed back from the past moment. It may be a single point action, an action of some duration or a recurrent action. The time of the action in most cases is not indicated. Here are some examples (1, 2).

Example 1:
Vincent Van Gogh is talking with his cousin Kay in Amsterdam.

Kay: What are you thinking about, Cousin? You seem preoccupied.
Vincent: I was thinking that Rembrandt would have liked to paint you.
Kay: Rembrandt only like to paint ugly old women, didn’t he?
Vincent: No. He painted beautiful old women, women who were poor or in some way unhappy, but who through sorrow had gained a soul.
Kay: Forgive me for being stupid. I understand what you mean about Rembrandt. He gets at the real essence of beauty, doesn’t he, when he paints those gnarled old people who have suffering and defeat carved into their faces.
(I. Stone. Lust for Life)

Monday, 27 April 2015

Present Perfect – When to Use

ContentsGrammar in Dialogues → Present Perfect (When to Use)

Present Perfect Tense Explanation and Illustrative Examples from Classics

Present Perfect is used to express an accomplished action (both, a single action and an action or state of some duration) which is viewed from the moment of speaking as part of the present situation. Attention is focused on the action itself (but not on the time when it took place, nor in the circumstances – they appear unimportant).

Present Perfect is generally used:

1. when the time of the action is not indicated at all (dialogue 1);

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Going To Usage and Illustrative Examples


Another way of expressing a future action is the construction "to be going to + infinitive". It is mainly found with dynamic verbs; it is characterized by the following additional modal meanings:

a) premeditated intention (see the illustrative example below):

1. Father and son are watching the stars.

Father: I wonder if they’re what we think they are? Stars! Stars like this! People think we know about them. I wonder if we do. I wonder if we can. I wonder if we they are what we think they are.
Son: Let’s find out. I’m going to find out.
Father: Well.
Son: I’m going to find out all about them.
Father: Perhaps you will. A lot of people have tried, you know. Sir Isaac Newton – and Sir Robert Ball – and Sir William Herschell -- …
(G. P. Snow. The Search)

To Be Going to + Infinitive

Contents → To Be Going to + Infinitive

To Be Going To + Infinitive form for a future action 

I am
He is
She is
It is
We are
You are
They are



going to do something.

We often use the present form am/are/is/ going to + infinitive to talk about the future.
  • What are you going to do on Sunday? 
  • It is going to snow

Meanings: