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Thread: never worked

  1. #1
    joham is offline Key Member
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    Default never worked

    --Sorry, I overslept. I forgot to set the alarm.
    --Your clock ______. Perhaps you should buy a new one.

    A. never worked B. never works C. had never worked D. is never working

    The given answer is B. I'd like to know if we can also use A since grammar books says in American English people often use the past simple instead of the present perfect.

    Could I ask native English teachers to help me please? Thank you very much.

  2. #2
    Neillythere's Avatar
    Neillythere is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: never worked

    As a Brit & mentor, but not a teacher, B is correct.

    If you meant A, you would have taken it back to the shop immediately.

    B doesn't preclude it from having worked for some time, but it regularly doesn't work now.

    Hope this helps

  3. #3
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    Default Re: never worked

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    --Sorry, I overslept. I forgot to set the alarm.
    --Your clock ______. Perhaps you should buy a new one.

    A. never worked B. never works C. had never worked D. is never working

    The given answer is B. I'd like to know if we can also use A since grammar books says in American English people often use the past simple instead of the present perfect.

    Could I ask native English teachers to help me please? Thank you very much.
    We use the present continuous with words such as "always" to talk about things that happen repeatedly (to say that something is irritating or annoying).
    She's always complaining about how difficult her life is.
    I quess that "D" might work too in your sentence...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: never worked

    I agree! "That darn thing is never working!" doesn't sound wrong to me either.

    However, it seems these tests like the simplest of the correct answers, so B would be my test choice.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: never worked

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I agree! "That darn thing is never working!" doesn't sound wrong to me either.

    However, it seems these tests like the simplest of the correct answers, so B would be my test choice.
    Mine too, Barb_D. If someone, however, is aware of the various use of present continues he/she might be darn confused doing a test.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: never worked

    Would "is never working" not normally be followed by an actual or implied "when ......"?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: never worked

    No, it's a pecularity of the present continuous to use it to express annoyance.

    God, John, you are ALWAYS staring at other girls when you talk to me!
    Ugh, why is this thing never working?!
    Stop it! You're always doing that! You're always interruping me!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: never worked

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    No, it's a pecularity of the present continuous to use it to express annoyance.

    God, John, you are ALWAYS staring at other girls when you talk to me!
    Ugh, why is this thing never working?!
    Stop it! You're always doing that! You're always interruping me!
    - but I agree with Neillythere too about the 'actual or implied "when ......"?'.
    In your first example it's actual, and in the second two it's implied: '...never working [when you need it]?' and 'always interrupting [when someone else is talking]'. When you think about it, the verb 'interrupt' necessarily implies a "when" (can you 'interrupt' when nobody's doing anything?).

    More generally, the present continuous implies annoyance - caused by a repeated mistake (and that implies a "when..." clause). So I think you're both right, and thanks for the ideas - very interesting

    b

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