Saturday, November 28, 2015

Aspect and Its Effect on Meaning

Many English Second Language learners understand the difference between past, present and future tenses, but they struggle to understand the difference between the simple, progressive, perfect progressive and perfect aspects. What is the difference between the following sentences?
  1. I work.
  2. I am working.
  3. I have been working.
  4. I have worked.

Do you know the difference? 

The effect of aspect on meaning on English verbs
The effect of aspect on meaning on English verbs

Answer:

  1. I work. The Simple Aspect emphasizes that an activity is normal and routine.
  2. I am working. The Progressive Aspect emphasizes that an activity is temporary and in-progress.
  3. I have been working. The Perfect Progressive Aspect emphasizes that the activity was recently finished or interrupted. 
  4. I have worked. The Perfect Aspect can express a past event to emphasize its present consequences.

Common Errors 

Here are some examples of common aspect errors that the VirtualWritingTutor can catch.
  • My brother is usually playing video game.
  • I live here since I am born.
  • I am working here for 4 years.
  • After the party, while I was sleeping I've been dreaming about something wrong. 

Useful Resources

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