Monthly Archives: January 2016

Simple Present Vs. Present Progressive

Ready for more grammar? Good.

This time we’re going to look at simple present tense and present progressive (also called present continuous) tense.

We use simple present tense when we talk about something we usually do or always do or never do or sometimes do. For example:

I live in Brooklyn.

She always does her homework.

They don’t drink alcohol.

We use present progressive tense to describe something we’re doing right now, at this very moment. For example:

I’m using the computer right now.

She’s talking on the phone.

He isn’t sleeping. He’s watching TV.

But be careful – there are some verbs that we rarely or never use in the present progressive tense. These verbs describe a feeling or a way of thinking. For example:

I understand the situation.   (Not “I’m understanding the situation.”)

They believe what you say.   (Not “They’re believing what you say.”)

He wants a new bike.   (Not “He’s wanting a new bike.”)

Now watch these two videos. The first one is a clear explanation of the grammar, and the second one is a rather strange demonstration of the grammar.

After you finish watching, take the quiz to test your knowledge – and then you can write some sentences in simple present tense or present progressive tense (or both) by leaving a comment!

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Go Overboard Revisited

Here’s a series of images and quotes from the Internet using last week’s Idiom of the Weekclick on any image to view the gallery:

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Awesome Adjective: Risky

Meaning: Dangerous or likely to fail.

Examples:

He saves all his money because he thinks investing in the stock market is too risky.

You’ve got to be careful if you’re a parent of a teenager; they tend to try a lot of risky things.

It’s risky to stand too close to the edge of the platform – you might fall or somebody might even push you onto the tracks!

Pop Quiz:

Which of the following describes risky behavior?

A.  Riding a bike without a helmet.

B.  Smoking.

C.  Cheating on an exam.

To see the correct answer, click on “Continue reading”:

Continue reading

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School Daze Revisited

Class 3C recently penned some reminiscences of their elementary, middle, or high school days. Read one story below and take the quiz afterwards to test your undertsanding.

A Bad Word

Galyna Nyzhnyk

I went to an elementary school in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine. I had a lot of classmates; there were 45 of us. We were funny and we liked to talk a lot.

One time we had a writing lesson. It was quiet in the class. Our teacher screamed at us if we spoke. Suddenly, one girl said very loudly, “I have a headache!” The teacher forbade talking during class, but at that time she never said anything to her because the teacher loved her. One of my classmates (his name was Taras) said loudly, “You sit on your ass and not on your head. Why do you have a headache?” The teacher wrote a letter to Taras’s parents and told them that Taras said a bad word.

The next day a famous writer came to our classroom. It was Taras’s father. His father brought some dictionaries and he proved that the word “ass” is a Ukrainian literary word.

We were happy!

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To read more stories, click here.

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Idiom of the Week: Go Overboard

Meaning: To do something with too much energy or effort.

Examples:

“Do you want to have a party for your birthday, honey?” “Sure, but don’t go overboard. Let’s keep it small.”

I thought they went overboard with all the explosions and special effects in that movie.

She asked him to clean the house and he really went overboard – he cut the grass and swept the driveway and gave the dogs and kids a bath, too.

 

Pop Quiz:

Which one is the best example of going overboard?

A.  Wearing a tuxedo to a job interview.

B.  Wearing a suit and tie to a job interview.

C.  Wearing jeans and a t-shirt to a job interview.

To see the correct answer, click on “Continue reading”:

Continue reading

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