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  1. #1
    simon1234 is offline Member
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    Default present progressive tense

    Hi there,
    I don't know why the present progressive tense was used in the following conversation.

    Josh: Hey, I hear you and Stephanie are really getting serious.

    Michael: Yeah, I think she'll be impressed with my new exercise program.
    Josh: What? What are you talking about? What exercise program? What did you tell her?
    Michael: Well, you know, I enjoy staying in shape. [Right] First, I usually get up every morning at 5:30 a.m.


    tkssimon

  2. #2
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: present progressive tense

    Quote Originally Posted by simon1234 View Post
    Hi there,
    I don't know why the present progressive tense was used in the following conversation.

    Josh: Hey, I hear you and Stephanie are really getting serious.

    Michael: Yeah, I think she'll be impressed with my new exercise program.
    Josh: What? What are you talking about? What exercise program? What did you tell her?
    Michael: Well, you know, I enjoy staying in shape. [Right] First, I usually get up every morning at 5:30 a.m.


    tkssimon
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Hello, Simon.

    (1) Am I correct in thinking that your question is about the use of

    the present progressive in "I hear (that) you and Stephanie ARE really

    GETTING serious"?


    (a) Do you feel that another tense should be used? Could you tell us

    which one you prefer?

    (2) I believe that sentences of that kind are very common:

    You are really getting on my nerves.

    I hear that Tom is really doing well at his new job.

    They say that the oil spill is really getting worse.

    (3) Mr. Michael Swan in his popular Practical English Usage says

    the present progressive is fine when we want to emphasize the idea of

    change or development. His examples:

    More and more people ARE PREFERRING to take early retirement.
    The water IS TASTING better today.

    (a) Maybe (only my opinion) your sentence means something like:

    I hear that you and Stephanie are becoming more and more serious

    with each passing day.

    ***** Thank you *****

  3. #3
    mmasny is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: present progressive tense

    I can be wrong, but I think this is a good example of the progressive aspect as opposed to the continuous. As TheParser said it denotes progression, not continuity, so the simple aspect may be mistaken for it if the speaker makes this distinction:
    continuity - continuous
    anything else - simple

    I am not sure about it though. The above doesn't actually convince me. But I never really aunderstood these things.
    Last edited by mmasny; 11-Jun-2010 at 12:51. Reason: grammar error

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: present progressive tense

    Do you see the progressive and the continuous as distinct forms?

  5. #5
    mmasny is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: present progressive tense

    I'm not sure. But I read somewhere they are or could be. Probably wikipedia.

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