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    #1

    the progressive form

    Hi people!

    Quite a few of my students insist on using the progressive from when they write their essays.
    There is, however, a tendency to overuse it, but in some cases I have difficulties deciding myself.
    They often write-when they analyse a short story- " In her novel she is describing/showing/telling us/explaining why the main characters act the way they do". The way I look at it simple verb forms are preferred in all these cases, am I right.
    How do I explain it to my students?

    Kind regards
    Nille

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    Student or Learner
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    #2

    Re: the progressive form

    Not a teacher!

    Only a thought. If they want to state a fact - simple form.
    If they want to emphasise that the process of describing lasts for some time - progressive form.

    But I agree with you. I don't think that using the progressive form here is appropriate.

    Again: not a teacher!

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: the progressive form

    Quote Originally Posted by nille12345 View Post
    Hi people!

    Quite a few of my students insist on using the progressive from when they write their essays.
    There is, however, a tendency to overuse it, but in some cases I have difficulties deciding myself.
    They often write-when they analyse a short story- " In her novel she is describing/showing/telling us/explaining why the main characters act the way they do". The way I look at it simple verb forms are preferred in all these cases, am I right.
    How do I explain it to my students?

    Kind regards
    Nille
    You can tell them that you don't like the progressive form in literary analyses, and that they will be marked down if they use it. This is quite apart from whether it is actually 'wrong'. You can explain that some people might accept it, but that you want them to get used to the far more common simple present tense in this situation.

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    #4

    Re: the progressive form

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    You can tell them that you don't like the progressive form in literary analyses, and that they will be marked down if they use it. This is quite apart from whether it is actually 'wrong'. You can explain that some people might accept it, but that you want them to get used to the far more common simple present tense in this situation.
    Thanks for your answers.
    So the progressive form is generally avoided in literary papers/more formal situations?
    Does it make the text seem too informal then?
    Nille

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    #5

    Re: the progressive form

    Hi again!
    I am marking essays now in which the students are asked to analyze a speech made by Omaba.
    Many students write " Obama is speaking to all pupils and students across America"
    Would you say that the progressive form is inappropriate here as well and that the simple present tense is to be preferred?

    Would very much appreciate it if a native speaker could shed light on this matter, since it is a recurring problem to me.

    Nille

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: the progressive form

    Quote Originally Posted by nille12345 View Post
    Hi again!
    I am marking essays now in which the students are asked to analyze a speech made by Omaba.
    Many students write " Obama is speaking to all pupils and students across America"
    Would you say that the progressive form is inappropriate here as well and that the simple present tense is to be preferred?

    Would very much appreciate it if a native speaker could shed light on this matter, since it is a recurring problem to me.

    Nille
    I would expect, "Obama was speaking ..." for a speech.
    Books are thought of as still able to speak to people.

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