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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    teach music vs teaching music

    My grammar book says "present tense" is about "permanent thing for considerable time", while "progressive form" is about "things you are doing temporarily recently", but I think that to define the length of time for each may not be easy. You may use a progressive form for six months, 1 year or even 2 years depending on your notion of short time. So I guess the time length distinction between the two is quite relative depending on speakers' feeling. What do you think?

    1.She is a teacher. She teaches music.
    2. This year she is teaching second-graders.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: teach music vs teaching music

    The progressive form generally suggests that the action has duration, and that that duration is limited.

  3. keannu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: teach music vs teaching music

    Thanks a lot! An extra question. As in the previous thread, "She is always working late at night" as a complaint, does this mean present tense or progressive form? I mean if it is a special form to imply present tense even though it's a progressive form.
    Last edited by keannu; 12-May-2012 at 07:42.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: teach music vs teaching music

    It is present (tense) and it is progressive (aspect); some writers call it the present progressive (or "continuous") tense.

  5. keannu's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: teach music vs teaching music

    I might have misunderstood your answer. My question was if 1 means her present(long-term) activity as the present tense like 2 or short-term activity like 2 or 3. Or does it purely depend on the context?

    1.She is always working late at night.(as a complaining tone)
    2.She works late at night.(long-term identity)
    2.She is working late at night these days(recent)
    3.She is working late at night tonight.(current)

  6. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: teach music vs teaching music

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    I might have misunderstood your answer. My question was if 1 means her present(long-term) activity as the present tense like 2 or short-term activity like 2 or 3. Or does it purely depend on the context?

    1.She is always working late at night.(as a complaining tone)
    Only context will tell us if this is said complainingly. If her boss says these words, he might be impressed by her devotion to duty.
    2.She works late at night.(long-term identity) Only context will tell us if it's really 'long-term'. The only thing we can be moderately sure of is that the working late is not viewed as temporary.
    2.She is working late at night these days(recent)'Limited duration' rather than 'recent'.
    3.She is working late at night tonight.(current)Without more context we cannot tell whether the speaker is telling us what 'she' is doing at the moment of speaking, what 'she' is doing at the moment of speaking as opposed to any other time, what 'she' has an arrangement to do at a later time today, etc.
    5

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