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    • Join Date: Nov 2005
    • Posts: 4
    #1

    Help needed on tenses!

    I'm currently studying a CELTA and need some help with a lesson I'm teaching on Monday. I was wondering if somepne could help me with the following:

    These questions are from "Cutting Edge: Upper Intermediate (p.36)".

    In these dialogues, the students need to choose the best verb form and answer why. Choosing the best verb form is simple enough but can anybody help me as to why they're the best verb form to use? (and why the other one is wrong) Any concept-checking questions or timelines to clarify will be much appreciated.

    1. So how are you anyway? Done anything exciting since I last saw you?

    No, nothing at all. It's rained / It's been raining all weekend. I haven't been / I haven't been going out once!

    2. I'll phone you tonight to discuss the details, say about eight o'clock?

    Could you make it a bit later? We'll have / We'll be having dinner at that time.

    3. Excuse me, is it going to be much longer? I've waited / I've been waiting for over an hour!

    I'm sorry, the computer's broken down / been breaking down and we've lost / we've been losing all our records. Dr Greenway will see you as soon as he can.

    4. Put the camera down please, you'll break it / you'll be breaking it.

    No, I won't!


    I hope you can help, I would really appreciate it!

    • Member Info
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      • British English
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      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
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    #2

    Re: Help needed on tenses!

    1- has been raining- began in the past and is still going on; the present perfect progressive can be used to emphasise the continuity of an action
    1b- here, there's no action, so there's no continuity to emphasise, so the simple fom makes more sense
    What do you think about the others?


    • Join Date: Nov 2005
    • Posts: 4
    #3

    Re: Help needed on tenses!

    2. "We'll be having" - Suggests that the speaker will be performing an action at a certain point in the future (with someone else); "we'll have" suggests a spontaneous decision between the two in the dialogue and can't be correct.

    3a. "I've been waiting" - Emphasises the continuity of the waiting, and that the speaker is still in the ongoing process of waiting

    3b. "broken down" - Past simple used because the action here is not continuous, it happened in the past and is still broken; "been breaking down" suggests that it has been continuously happening (in the recent past) and may not be broken at this moment.

    3c. "we've lost" - present perfect used, an event in the past with visible effects now; "we've been losing" suggests that it's been happening continuously for a while and this doesn't apply with "all" (all would only allow the action to happen once and not continuously)

    4. "you'll break it" - future simple used to make a warning (or simple prediction); "you'll be breaking it" suggests a continuous act of breaking at a point in the future, but in this case, the action is not continuous (once it's broken, that's it!)


    Well, there's my attempt! It's not very good and I hope somebody can correct or clarify these answers. I'll need to explain these to a class tomorrow so I need to make them as simple as possible. It would be great if someone can suggest any concept questions to check the language. Any help will be much appreciated.


    • Join Date: Nov 2005
    • Posts: 4
    #4

    Re: Help needed on tenses!

    Can anyone offer any feedback or suggestions?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,912
    #5

    Re: Help needed on tenses!

    2- I agree- it falls in the middle of the action
    3a- Here it does, though we can use the form to emphasise the length of the wait even when it has finished- when someone arrives late and we are no longer waiting, we can still use the progressive form for emphasis
    3b- Broken down- on this occasion- been breaking down- again and again and, as you say, not necessarily now
    4- yes, it's a warning about a single event, not a future process

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