domingo, 24 de octubre de 2010


    The Present Continuous is made with the present form of the verb "to be" (I am, you are, he/she/it is, we are, you are, they are) + the '-ing' form of the main verb. The '-ing' form of the verb is called the Present Participle.

  Using the Present Continuous Tense

   We most often use the Present Continuous when we talk about something which is happening at the time of speaking (now, at the moment):

Examples:  Pamela is sleeping in the bedroom.

1. The telephone is ringing!
2. They are doing their homework.
3. I'm waiting for my girlfriend in front of the cinema.

   Present Continuous is also used when we talk about something which is happening at present, but not necessarily at the moment of speaking:

Examples:  1. I'm reading an interesting book.
2. Tom is looking for a new job.
3. We are studying English and Spanish.

   We can use the Present Continuous when we talk about temporary actions taking place only for a period of time (today, this week, this semester, this year):

Examples:  1. My husband is working hard today.
2. They are spending this week in Paris.
3. She is teaching English this semester.
4. We are staying at the Bristol Hotel tonight.
5. I'm living with my parents at the moment but soon I'll buy my own house.

   Present Continuous is also used to express current trends:

Examples:  1. Fuel prices are rising constantly because of strong demand.
2. On-line shopping is growing rapidly nowdays.

   We can use the Present Continuous when we talk about repeated actions which are irritating to the speaker (always, constantly):

Examples:  1. He is always complaining from his colleagues.
2. My son is always getting into trouble in school.

   Sometimes we use the Present Continuous to describe a planned action in the near future:

Examples:  1. I'm leaving for Vienna tomorrow morning.
2. We are having lunch at 12.30 o'clock.



English does not have a verb form specifically used to express future tense. We have to choose from a variety of forms (using 'will'/'shall', 'going to', the present continuous, the present simple, etc.) to talk about future events. The future expressed with the modal auxiliaries will and shall + the base form of the verb is known as the future simple tense or 'will' future. Keep in mind, however, that 'will' doesn't always serve to indicate the future.

 We can use 'will' to talk about events happening at the present. (For example: This car won't start.)

The future simple tense is composed of two parts: will/shall + base verb. Will and shall are often contracted to 'll.
 Affirmative form

I          +   shall / will  +  work

he/she/it       +  will  +  work

1. I shall/will write her tomorrow.
2. We shall/will go shopping together during the holidays.

 Note: 'Will' is used with all persons. 'Shall' can be used instead of 'will' with I/we. In modern English, particularly in American English, 'shall' with a future reference is rarely used.

 Negative form

I             SHALL + NOT
we              /SHAN'T/ +                     WORK

you              WILL + NOT
he/she/it           /WON'T/
we                  + WORK

I won't answer that question.
They won't accept this offer.

 Interrogative form

To form interrogative sentences we use will with all persons:

WILL        I       WORK?

WILL    he/she/it    WORK?

Will you open the window, please?
Will you do it for me?

 Note: We use shall to make offers, ask for advices or suggestions, etc. (mainly in British English)

1. Shall I close the door?
2. Shall we go to picnic tomorrow?
3. Shall I study English?

 'Shall' is also used as an imperative in formal or legal written statements:

1. The Chairman shall be present at the Company's general meetings.
2. The accused shall be present during the trial



The past simple tense of the most english verbs (regular verbs) is formed by adding
"-ed"/"-d" to their base form. (If the verb ends in "-e", we add "-d" to form the past simple.)

There are also some verbs called irregular verbs that have special past tense forms.
week, three days ago, a few minutes ago, in (year), from (year) to (year), etc.

Spelling rules for the past simple of regular verbs:

 if a regular verb ends in consonant + y change y to i and add -ed:
  carry - carried,    study - studied,    fry - fried,    try - tried
 if a one syllable regular verb ends in consonant + vowel + consonant double the final consonant and add -ed -- > stop - stopped,  plan - planned,   rob - robbed,   beg - begged
 if a regular verb has more than one syllable and ends in consonant + vowel + consonant, we double the final consonant only if the final syllable is stressed -- >  preFER - preferred,    regRET - regretted

Exception: In British English verbs ending in -l have -ll before -ed whether the final syllable



To form the Present Simple Tense we use the verb's base form (go, work, speak, study). In 3rd person singular (he, she, it), the base form of the verb takes -s/es. (Auxiliary verbs "be," "do," "have", which can also be used as main verbs, are exceptions.)

We use the Present Simple Tense:

when we talk about things that happen repeatedly or habitually
With Present Simple Tense we often use time expressions such as always, often, sometimes, usually, seldom, on Saturdays, rarely, never, every day, etc.

For example:
Philip gets up at 6 o'clock every morning.
We usually start work at 8 o'clock

when we talk about permanent or long-lasting situations

For example:
Tom lives in London

when we talk about people or things in general

For example:
Nurses work in clinics and hospitals.

to indicate general truths, facts and scientific laws

For example:
My birthday is in May.

when we talk about travel plans and timetables (mainly with verbs such as go, leave, arrive, start, come, return etc.)

For example:
We arrive in Rome at 6 p.m.

with state (or stative) verbs such as like, dislike, love, think, seem, look, know, feel, understand, want, need, hate, remember, forget, prefer, believe, mean, taste, hear, see, have (when the meaning is "possess"), own, belong, etc. These verbs are not normally used in the Continuous Tense (but there are exceptions).

For example:
 My aunt hates travelling by train.

to give instructions/directions

For example:
Pour all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix until smooth.


Common Errors in English

 Affect or Effect
 Loose or Lose
 Principle or Principal
 Prophecy or Prophesy
 Alter or Altar
 Adverse or Averse
 Break or Brake
 Site, Cite or Sight
 Peasant or Pheasant
 Prey or Pray
 Assure, Ensure or Insure
 Desert or Dessert
 Plane or Plain
 Exceed or Accede
 Adapt, Adopt or Adept
 Storey or Story
 Cent, Scent or Sense
 Weather or Whether
 Economic, Economical or Economics
 Conscious or Conscience



Speakers of English nowadays, comprise a very large number of people accross the globe. Figures vary considerably, but it is believed that nearly one quarter of the world’s population, or between 1.2 and 1.5 billion people, are already fluent or competent in English (Crystal, 1997). The British Council estimates that about 375 million people speak English as a first language, another 375 million speak it regularly as a second language, and about 750 million more people speak English as a foreign language. English currently is the language most often taught as a second language around the world.
Today, English is considered the universal language for business, international communications, entertainment, tourism, trade and technology. The majority of all resources on the internet are in English, affecting people to learn English to take full advantage of it. Above all, learning English is important for being able to exchange views and make friends with people all over the world. English has an official or special status in more than 70 countries with a total population of over two billion.