- For Teachers
When we introduce some new recent information we use Present Perfect, then in case we continue to speak about events concerned with this info we normally use Past Simple instead of Perfect.
Can this rule be applied to Present Simple and Present Continuous like this:
'They are sitting around the table. They eat, drink and chat.'
Or we must use Continuous in all the cases?
- They sit around the table. They eat drink and chat.
- They are sitting around the table. They are eating drinking and chatting.
- They sit around the table. They are eating, drinking and chatting.
- They are sitting around the table. They eat, drink and chat.
These are all grammatically "correct".
Why would a speaker choose one and not another?
It depends on their communicative goals. Think about your native language. For almost anything you say or write, your goals and the context in which you are communicating determines what options you choose. Those options include, but are not limited to, vocabulary, grammatical forms (like verb tenses), and intonation patterns.
Without more context it is impossible to suggest one of the alternatives above as being the right one. Remember, we use language to influence peopleís behaviour. Itís a communicative tool and there is no communication without context.
A good long term strategy for learning English is to think about grammar ďrulesĒ more as guidelines, that shape and influence your word choice, but donít determine it, because in almost any situation you have more than one choice anyway.
I hope that helps.
A: What do they do there?
B: They sit around the table. They eat drink and chat.
A: What are they doing?
B: They are sitting around the table. They are eating, drinking, and chatting.
There is always context. Without context there is no meaning.
I am not trying to criticise your post, but the use of inverted commas in grammatically "correct" did interest me. In much of where I am living, education is very rudimentary, schools often lack basics like water and staff, classes can be packed in the capital with two or three times the number of students allowed as people send there children from the countryside to the city in the hope that they will receive better schooling, while predatory degree mills and other dodgy or crooked educational con-artists vacuum up scarce private financial resources and spit out worthless certificates. In rural areas, the teacher may only be intermediate level themselves. I think that there are many contexts where there is still of lot of use and mileage in rules and the idea of correctness: oversimplification to one, clarity to another.
What does `con-artists` mean here?
Thank you very much in advance.
Can you think of any context in whicn 3 and 4 make sense?
Those people take money from people under the pretense that they will be able to teach them English. (There are all kinds of con games.) They take money that can ill-afford to be spent on worthless ventures. Once that money is spent it cannot of course be unspent. It has been thrown down a rat hole.while predatory degree mills and other dodgy or crooked educational con-artists vacuum up scarce private financial resources
Can anybody come up with any context for either of these:
They sit around the table. They are eating, drinking and chatting.
They are sitting around the table. They eat, drink and chat.