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    • Join Date: Oct 2005
    • Posts: 71
    #1

    Question present continuous with non-durative verbs

    Hello,

    I'd like you to tell me if the following is correct:
    'Look! She is dropping the box.'If the sentence is OK, is the subject doing it deliberately or not?
    In a grammar I once read that this type of verbs, i.e. drop, pass, kick, etc may be used in the simple present to refer to something that is taking place now.
    I wonder if my sentence is ok (because of 'Look!').
    Could I also say:
    "Look! She drops the box'
    What would it mean?

    Thank you,
    Angela

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    • Join Date: Feb 2009
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    #2

    Re: present continuous with non-durative verbs

    Hi Angela,
    Quote Originally Posted by tangelatm
    I'd like you to tell me if the following is correct:
    'Look! She is dropping the box.' Yes, this is OK.

    If the sentence is OK, is the subject doing it deliberately or not? Use of the present progressive (or present continuous, both terms are synonymous) provides no indication about whether the action is intentional or not.

    In a grammar I once read that this type of verbs, i.e. drop, pass, kick, etc may be used in the simple present to refer to something that is taking place now. Logically, yes, depending on the situation, the simple present could be used.

    I wonder if my sentence is ok (because of 'Look!'). "Look!", is simply an imperative exclamation; it draws the attention of the listener to the action taking place now, but in no way determines that, grammatically speaking, the present progressive must be used in place of the simple present. (Though one would logically and quite naturally expect the present progressive to follow.)

    Could I also say:
    "Look! She drops the box.' Yes, one could say this. But if the action is happening at that moment, the present progressive -- is dropping -- would be more to the point.

    What would it mean? It would mean just what it states: i.e., "She drops the box."

    Thank you,
    Angela

    Your welcome.

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