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USE 1 Duration Before Something in the Past




We use the Past Perfect Continuous to show that something started in the past and continued up until another time in the past. "For five minutes" and "for two weeks" are both durations which can be used with the Past Perfect Continuous. Notice that this is related to the Present Perfect Continuous; however, the duration does not continue until now, it stops before something else in the past.

Examples:

· They had been talking for over an hour before Tony arrived.

· She had been working at that company for three years when it went out of business.

· How long had you been waiting to get on the bus?

· Mike wanted to sit down because he had been standing all day at work.

· James had been teaching at the university for more than a year before he left for Asia.

· A: How long had you been studying Turkish before you moved to Ankara?
B: I had not been studying Turkish very long.

USE 2 Cause of Something in the Past

Using the Past Perfect Continuous before another action in the past is a good way to show cause and effect.

Examples:

· Jason was tired because he had been jogging.

· Sam gained weight because he had been overeating.

· Betty failed the final test because she had not been attending class.

Past Continuous vs. Past Perfect Continuous

If you do not include a duration such as "for five minutes," "for two weeks" or "since Friday," many English speakers choose to use the Past Continuous rather than the Past Perfect Continuous. Be careful because this can change the meaning of the sentence. Past Continuous emphasizes interrupted actions, whereas Past Perfect Continuous emphasizes a duration of time before something in the past. Study the examples below to understand the difference.

Examples:

· He was tired because he was exercising so hard.
This sentence emphasizes that he was tired because he was exercising at that exact moment.

· He was tired because he had been exercising so hard.
This sentence emphasizes that he was tired because he had been exercising over a period of time. It is possible that he was still exercising at that moment OR that he had just finished.

REMEMBER Non-Continuous Verbs / Mixed Verbs

It is important to remember that Non-Continuous Verbs cannot be used in any continuous tenses. Also, certain non-continuous meanings for Mixed Verbs cannot be used in continuous tenses. Instead of using Past Perfect Continuous with these verbs, you must use Past Perfect.

Examples:

· The motorcycle had been belonging to George for years before Tina bought it. Not Correct

· The motorcycle had belonged to George for years before Tina bought it. Correct

ADVERB PLACEMENT

The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc.

Examples:

· You had only been waiting there for a few minutes when she arrived.

· Had you only been waiting there for a few minutes when she arrived?

ACTIVE / PASSIVE

Examples:

· Chef Jones had been preparing the restaurant's fantastic dinners for two years before he moved to Paris. Active

· The restaurant's fantastic dinners had been being prepared by Chef Jones for two years before he moved to Paris. Passive

NOTE: Passive forms of the Past Perfect Continuous are not common.

Simple Future

Simple Future has two different forms in English: "will" and "be going to." Although the two forms can sometimes be used interchangeably, they often express two very different meanings. These different meanings might seem too abstract at first, but with time and practice, the differences will become clear. Both "will" and "be going to" refer to a specific time in the future.

FORM Will

[will + verb]

Examples:

· You will help him later.

· Will you help him later?

· You will not help him later.

FORM Be Going To

[am/is/are + going to + verb]

Examples:

· You are going to meet Jane tonight.

· Are you going to meet Jane tonight?

· You are not going to meet Jane tonight.

Complete List of Simple Future Forms

USE 1 "Will" to Express a Voluntary Action

"Will" often suggests that a speaker will do something voluntarily. A voluntary action is one the speaker offers to do for someone else. Often, we use "will" to respond to someone else's complaint or request for help. We also use "will" when we request that someone help us or volunteer to do something for us. Similarly, we use "will not" or "won't" when we refuse to voluntarily do something.

Examples:

· I will sendyou the information when I get it.

· I will translate the email, so Mr. Smith can read it.

· Will you help me move this heavy table?

· Will you make dinner?

· I will not do your homework for you.

· I won't do all the housework myself!

· A: I'm really hungry.
B: I'll make some sandwiches.

· A: I'm so tired. I'm about to fall asleep.
B: I'll get you some coffee.

· A: The phone is ringing.
B: I'll get it.

USE 2 "Will" to Express a Promise

"Will" is usually used in promises.

Examples:

· I will call you when I arrive.

· If I am elected President of the United States, I will make sure everyone has access to inexpensive health insurance.

· I promise I will not tell him about the surprise party.

· Don't worry, I'll be careful.

· I won't tell anyone your secret.

USE 3 "Be going to" to Express a Plan

"Be going to" expresses that something is a plan. It expresses the idea that a person intends to do something in the future. It does not matter whether the plan is realistic or not.

Examples:

· He is going to spend his vacation in Hawaii.

· She is not going to spend her vacation in Hawaii.

· A: When are we going to meet each other tonight?
B: We are going to meet at 6 PM.

· I'm going to be an actor when I grow up.

· Michelle is going to begin medical school next year.

· They are going to drive all the way to Alaska.

· Who are you going to invite to the party?

· A: Who is going to make John's birthday cake?
B: Sue is going to make John's birthday cake.

USE 4 "Will" or "Be Going to" to Express a Prediction

Both "will" and "be going to" can express the idea of a general prediction about the future. Predictions are guesses about what might happen in the future. In "prediction" sentences, the subject usually has little control over the future and therefore USES 1-3 do not apply. In the following examples, there is no difference in meaning.

Examples:

· The year 2222 will be a very interesting year.

· The year 2222 is going to be a very interesting year.

· John Smith will be the next President.

· John Smith is going to be the next President.

· The movie "Zenith" will win several Academy Awards.

· The movie "Zenith" is going to win several Academy Awards.

IMPORTANT

In the Simple Future, it is not always clear which USE the speaker has in mind. Often, there is more than one way to interpret a sentence's meaning.



No Future in Time Clauses

Like all future forms, the Simple Future cannot be used in clauses beginning with time expressions such as: when, while, before, after, by the time, as soon as, if, unless, etc. Instead of Simple Future, Simple Present is used.

Examples:

· When you will arrive tonight, we will go out for dinner. Not Correct

· When you arrive tonight, we will go out for dinner. Correct

ADVERB PLACEMENT

The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc.

Examples:

· You will never help him.

· Will you ever help him?

· You are never going to meet Jane.

· Are you ever going to meet Jane?

ACTIVE / PASSIVE

Examples:

· John will finish the work by 5:00 PM. Active

· The work will be finished by 5:00 PM. Passive

· Sally is going to make a beautiful dinner tonight. Active

· A beautiful dinner is going to be made by Sally tonight. Passive

Future Perfect

Future Perfect has two different forms: "will have done" and "be going to have done." Unlike Simple Future forms, Future Perfect forms are usually interchangeable.

FORM Future Perfect with "Will"

[will have + past participle]

Examples:

· You will have perfected your English by the time you come back from the U.S.

· Will you have perfected your English by the time you come back from the U.S.?

· You will not have perfected your English by the time you come back from the U.S.

FORM Future Perfect with "Be Going To"

[am/is/are + going to have + past participle]

Examples:

· You are going to have perfected your English by the time you come back from the U.S.

· Are you going to have perfected your English by the time you come back from the U.S.?

· You are not going to have perfected your English by the time you come back from the U.S.

NOTE: It is possible to use either "will" or "be going to" to create the Future Perfect with little or no difference in meaning.

Complete List of Future Perfect Forms





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