Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Being Progressive Isn't Always That Easy.

A continuous tense time...

We take it for granted and ( hopefully ) know the difference about when to use it but a little bit of grammar makes many a child break out in a cold sweat of dread.

Understanding the difference isn't always easy for a new student of the English language. The grammar in question? Oh, the delightful present tense, which for good measure has two parts.

The present tense and the present tense progressive
and just for fun or another form of scholastic torture, the latter one is also known by a different name...present tense continuous. As you can imagine, it does cause a bit of confusion and even yours truly has been a victim to it.

Learning the scaffolding that holds up the English language is far from easy. Asking a question or denying a statement in the one tense uses different question words and rules than in the other tense. Never mind the various signal words.

Present tense: Bob sits on a chair.
Bob doesn't sit on a chair.
Does Bob sit on a chair?
Present tense progressive/continuous: Bob is sitting on a chair.
Bob isn't sitting on a chair.
Is Bob sitting on a chair?
Honestly, I do feel a bit sorry for the kids at times. They have to know when to use the various tenses and during a nerve wracking and often time deficient exam, they quickly lose the plot or the will to search for the relevant clues.

One of the boys who comes for extra lessons has told me that next year he'll try to get into the other English teacher's class at his school because this teacher is famous or rather infamous for not giving any homework...Sadly I burst his happiness bubble and told him that even without doing any homework, he would still have take the same tests and exams as his friends who'll have to do homework.

Yes, I have preached to him about the importance of reading for pleasure but so far he hasn't heard me...

Biggi