Level: intermediate

We use continuous aspect:

  • for something happening before and after a specific time:

He's getting on the train. (before and after the moment of speaking)
It was a quarter past ten. We were watching the news on television.

  • for something happening before and after another action:

Mother will be cooking the dinner when we get home.
We were waiting for the bus when it started to rain.

  • for something continuing for some time:

Everybody will be waiting for us.
They had been working hard all day.

  • for something happening again and again:

They've been doing that every day this week.
The children were always shouting.
He will be practising the piano every night.

  • for something temporary:

We are renting an apartment until our house is ready.
He was working in a garage during the vacation.

  • for something new:

We have moved from Birmingham. We're living in Manchester now.
He had left university and was working in his father's business.

  • to describe something changing or developing:

Everything has been getting more difficult.
He was growing more bad-tempered every day. 

Continuous aspect 1

Matching_MTYzMzg=

Continuous aspect 2

GapFillTyping_MTYzMzk=

We can use continuous aspect:

How long have you been sitting there?
I don't know how long she had been learning Spanish.

Your friends will be looking for you.
They might be playing tennis.

You should have been driving more carefully.
Soon we will have been living here for 25 years.

Continuous aspect 3

Matching_MTYzNDA=

Continuous aspect 4

GapFillTyping_MTYzNDE=

We do not normally use the continuous aspect with stative verbs. We use the simple instead:

I don't understand you. (NOT am not understanding)
When I got home, I really needed a shower. (NOT was needing)
I've always liked John. (NOT been liking)

Comments

Hello raj.kumar123,

As you can see in the dictionary, 'teem with' is an intransitive verb. Intransitive verbs do not have passive forms such as 'is teemed with', and so that means the first is incorrect. The second is in fact correct.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks Kirk.

Grammatically, 'Is teeming with' is right. Out of 'is teeming with' and 'abounds in', which is more appropriate for the sentence I wrote in my previous comment?
Can 'teem' and 'abound' be used interchangeably?

Hi rajkumar,

That really depends on what you want to say. I would probably use 'teeming with' myself, as it is often used to express activity, but I think either would work.

I'd suggest you consult a concordancer for this kind of question. If you go to http://corpus.byu.edu/bnc/, for example, and search for 'teeming with' and then 'abounds in', you can see examples of how both have been used in different sources. That should help you understand how they are used.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks a lot. Exposure helps one hone one's communication skills. I have just checked the difference between 'recognize' and 'identify'.

Have I used 'one' and 'one's' correctly here?

Hi, I would like to know which sentences is correct,
1. Could the floods have been prevented in the first place?
2. Could the floods be prevented in the first place?
And please explain to me...I'm confusing about the "have been" things
Thx ...

Hello Danielyong96,

Both sentences are grammatically correct. The first talks about the past: the floods have already happened and the speaker is thinking about what might have been possible. The second sentence talks about the present or future: the floods have not happened and the speaker is thinking about possible courses of action.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

thx sir

Dear Peter M
Is there any different in meaning if we use 'Can' instead of 'Could' in the Danielyoung96's question above.
Thanks

Hello seelan65,

It is possible to use can or could with the present infinitive:

Could the floods be prevented in the first place?

Can the floods be prevented in the first place?

'Could' suggests that the speaker sees preventation as less likely than 'can', so the difference in meaning is one of perspective.

 

However, the other sentence is a question about the past and here only 'could' is possible:

Could the floods have been prevented in the first place?

Can the floods have been prevented in the first place?

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks Peter

Pages