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Progressive aspect

We use the progressive aspect to express that a verb action is ongoing, as in "I am eating.".

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Video transcript

- [Voiceover] Hello grammarians, let's talk about the progressive aspect. So we talked about the simple aspect as something that is just most bare form. It's what you see here, I walk, I will walk, I walked. But aspect allows us to talk about things that are ongoing. And that's what we call the progressive because it's progressing, it's going, it's happening. So if we are telling a story and we are inside that moment, we can use the progressive aspect. So I walk becomes, in the present, I am walking. So the way the progressive works is that it takes the form of to be for whatever the subject of the sentence is, in this case I, and it changes the verb into an ING verb. That's what it does. That's what the progressive does. And its effect is to say that something is ongoing. This is also called the continuous aspect, but I like to call it the progressive aspect. Let's try this in all the different basic conjugations. So we call this the present progressive. Let's try the past progressive. So if it says I walked, we would just take the verb to be and then put it in the past. So this part doesn't change, the walking doesn't change. You would say, I was walking. Likewise, for the future, so we're not gonna change the walking part, we're just gonna put this am part into the future, which is like so, I will be walking. That's the future progressive. So the way to remember the progressive aspect is for me to hideously butcher the writing of David Mamet and tell you to always remember your ABCs. Always be conjugating. And conjugating here is just a word that means to put verbs in different tenses and aspects, but I really want you to focus on the fact that we've got this be and this ING. So just remember be and ING and that's how you form the progressive. So no matter whether or not it's happening in the past, it's still I was walking. So the part that changes is the be, is the verb to be. I was walking, I am walking, I will be walking. The part that doesn't change is the walking and that's how you express that something is ongoing, that something is continuously happening in the telling of the story. Understanding this will enable you to master time. You can learn anything. David out.