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  1. #1
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    Default The continuous form of the verb "to be"

    I wonder if somebody might have the time to give me their professional opinion on a handout I've prepared for a group of intermediate students.

    The question of when you can say "I was being..." came up in a class yesterday. I don't have much teaching experience (I'm doing a CELTA right now) and my answer may not have been as clear as it could have been, so I made this for next time:

    Have I covered everything? I think the language and examples will be easily understood by this group, but I don't know if it's an accurate analysis of how the verb is used in this tense.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: The continuous form of the verb "to be"

    You might want to think about the adjectives:
    She was being silly last night.
    She was silly last night.
    Both sentences are possible and both describe her behaviour. I'd use the progressive in examples like this:
    Don't take what she said seriously; she was just being silly.
    Here, I don't think 'was silly' would fit in- it's describing the frivolity of her behaviour rather than judging her negatively.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The continuous form of the verb "to be"

    Thank you very much. I'll amend it.

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: The continuous form of the verb "to be"

    You might not need to amend it, but you should be ready for it as a question from the class.

    BTW, I would maybe try to divide the sheet a bit more clearly with sub-headings, but I am not sure what guidelines they give on the CELTA.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The continuous form of the verb "to be"

    hello

  6. #6
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: The continuous form of the verb "to be"

    Quote Originally Posted by boothling View Post
    I wonder if somebody might have the time to give me their professional opinion on a handout I've prepared for a group of intermediate students.

    The question of when you can say "I was being..." came up in a class yesterday. I don't have much teaching experience (I'm doing a CELTA right now) and my answer may not have been as clear as it could have been, so I made this for next time:

    Have I covered everything? I think the language and examples will be easily understood by this group, but I don't know if it's an accurate analysis of how the verb is used in this tense.
    As a stative verb BE is usually used in the simple tense. When BE is used in the continuous tense it is made dynamic to refer to a temporary situation usually negative:
    You are being naughty.

    Depending on the rule above BE should not be overused in the continuous.

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