Verb_Tenses

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This October 31 st is a scary day for Dylan Barnes, not just because it is Halloween, but it is a special anniversary for him. For several years, he will have been trying to turn a good idea into a successful business via the Internet. He won’t be doing anything special to celebrate the occasion, mainly because his business venture won’t have made any money for most of the past year. Like his two business partners before him, he will soon need to do something else. When they started, it seemed like such a great ideas. Dylan and his friend, Michael Underwood, had been writing up their lecture notes as complete sets with review sheets and samples tests, and selling them to other students. They had used that money to pay for complete sets of notes from other lecture classes, which they then sold to an eager population

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of new students. They were starting to make a small steady profit when they met Terry Lloyd. Terry had been creating web pages for his friends, then larger websites on the Internet, and he showed them how to do it too. Using the initials of their last names, they created “Bullnotes”, established a website, and set out to become entrepreneurs of the information age. They soon found out that students are looking for more than lecture notes. They needed to do other things that they weren’t learning in their classes like writing a letter of application or a letter of recommendation. Soon there were all kinds of forms available from Bullnotes, from passport application forms to those for making a will. Dylan was working day and night to make the material available, but he didn’t think about what he was doing in terms of a business. The big problem, they soon discovered, is that everyone

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problem, they soon discovered, is that everyone wants these things, but no one wants to pay form them. In what turned out to be a common experience for many people who tried to create Internet businesses, they had a successful website, but didn’t really make any money from it. Terry quickly found a highly paid job with an investment company and Michael went off to work for a software manufacturer. Dylan is still looking for a way to make Bullnotes work as a business but these days he is always counting his pennies and he is having a hard time paying his bills. He has thought about taking a teaching job after seeing an ad for a teacher of business writing with business experience. He has lots of experience now and there won’t really be a problem with the letter of application.

Present and present continuous:

Present and present continuous PRESENT PRESENT CONTINUOUS For permanent situations Giraffes live in Africa. They have very long legs and necks. They feed on acacia leaves. For actions in progress or to talk about being in the middle of an activity Hi. I’m calling to let you know I’m coming, but it’s snowing and the traffic is moving slowly. Things that are generally true It rains more in winter. Birds don’t sing at night. Do women live longer than men? For habits I bite my nails. She smokes cigars. Does he really wear white socks with black shoes?

Present simple and present continuous:

Present simple and present continuous PRESENT PRESENT CONTINUOUS When we perform an action by speaking for example, when we promise to do something I accept their decision. I promise to be more careful. OTHER VERBS USED LIKE THIS: admit, apologize, bet, deny, insist, regret Describe current situations as permanent My brother Alan lives in London and works for a magazine. He writes about economics. Describe a current situation as temporary My sister Fiona is living with Alan just now. She isn’t working yet. She’s looking for a job. Use be and have for a typical situation Wendy’s normally a quiet person. She has a gentle voice. Use be and have for a temporary or special situation Wendy’s being wild tonight. She’s having a graduation party.

Present perfect and perfect continuous:

Present perfect and perfect continuous PRESENT PERFECT PERFECT CONTINUOUS To talk about or describe an action or situation started in the past which connects to the present How long have you worked here? I’ve worked here since 1997. When we talk about an activity in progress up to the present They’ve been repairing our street and it’s been causing a lot of traffic problems. When we mean “at any point up to now” This is the best coffee I have ever tasted. I haven\t been to an opera, but I’ve seen one on TV. To ask or describe actions which go on over a period of time up to the present Have you been waiting long? I’ve been sitting here for an hour. With state verbs I have known Tony for about five years. To describe something as if it is a continuous action up to the present He’s been calling you. It has been raining a lot recently.

Present perfect and perfect continuous:

Present perfect and perfect continuous PRESENT PERFECT PERFECT CONTINUOUS To describe a series of separate actions He has called four times and he has asked for you each time. ( NOT He has been calling four times.) Describe an action as a process going on from earlier up to the present We’ve been making chicken soup. That’s why the kitchen is hot and steamy. Describe an action as the present result of an earlier action We’ve made chicken soup. That’s what everyone is eating. Would you like some?

Past simple and past continuous:

Past simple and past continuous PAST SIMPLE PAST CONTINUOUS For completed action in the past Dickens wrote Oliver Twist . Edison invented the light bulb. The Beatles sang ’ Yesterday ’. Describe an action in progress at a specific time in the past What were you doing at 8.30 last night? I wasn’t doing anything special. I was just reading. Past states Life seemed easier then. That ring belonged to my mother. With some verbs ( wonder, hope) to make a request more polite I was wondering when I could take talk to you. We were hoping you might have a free moment. Two or more past actions in sequence, especially in narrative I tripped and landed on my knees. He knocked her down, grabbed her purse and ran off. He took off his hat and came forward

Past simple and past continuous:

Past simple and past continuous PAST SIMPLE PAST CONTINUOUS When we want to describe a past activity as a series of separate actions Usually she went to the library about once a week and only studied occasionally for tests. To describe the past activity as if it was a continuous action Before the final exam, however, she was going to the library and studying every single day. To talk about habits in the past or to make a stronger contrast with the present, we can use the form used to ( negative is didn’t use to or more formally used not to). We can also use would to talk about typical actions or activities during a period in the past. There used to be a shop on the corner. He used to smoke a lot Didn’t they use to hang people? We didn’t use to have a car. They used not to be enemies In summer, we would take trips to the country. We would sometimes buy fresh strawberries.

Past simple and past continuous:

Past simple and past continuous PAST SIMPLE PAST CONTINUOUS In sentences with when and while clauses, to describe an activity in one clause that starts before an action in another clause While he was drivi ng, I fell asleep. We saw Henry while we were walking in the park. The activity that starts later may interrupt the first activity I was listenin g to the news when she phoned . When I was runnin g, I slipped and fell .

Past perfect and past perfect continuous:

Past perfect and past perfect continuous PAST PERFECT PAST PERFECT CONTINUOUS When we are describing an action with the past simple and we want to refer to an action further in the past We went to his office, but he had left . Susan didn’t have the money because she had spent it. For events in progress before another event in the past I had been thinking about that before you mentioned it. Describe the action as a result of an action before a past event We had made chicken soup and so we offered her some when she came in . Describe an action as a process going on before a past event We had been making chicken soup so the kitchen was still hot and steamy when she came in. For earlier events after clauses with reporting or thinking verbs in the past Joe told me our team had scored twice. I thought we had won .

Future:

Future FUTURE CONTINUOUS FUTURE PERFECT WILL + BE + PRESENT PARTICIPLE To talk about future actions in progress at a particular time I’ll be sending in my application tomorrow. Wi ll you be using the car later or can I have it? WILL + HAVE + PAST PARTICIPLE To say that something will be completed by a particular time By next summer I’ ll have finished my degree. It’s 5.30. Will Jay have left work already? A way of expressing plans or intentions Next week, at this time, you will be lying on the beach and we’ ll all still be slaving away here.

Future:

Future FUTURE PERFECT CONTINUOUS FUTURE PERFECT WILL + HAVE BEEN + PRESENT PARTICIPLE When we look ahead to a future time and imagine an action lasting from a point before that time up to that future On the 10 th of this month, I’ll have been living here exactly two years.

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