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EN: to always + verb / to be always + V-ing - tense

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by gregodelph, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. gregodelph

    gregodelph Senior Member

    FRENCH
    How could you explain the use of Be + V-ing in that expression?

    Is the progressive form used to visualize the person who is always doing the same thing? What is the link with the present / the situation of enunciation?

    Thanks for your answers.
     
  2. bloomiegirl

    bloomiegirl Senior Member

    New York
    US English
    Hi Gregodelph! It would help if you could give us a complete sentence, or at least a real verb to consider.
     
  3. gregodelph

    gregodelph Senior Member

    FRENCH
    [FONT=&quot]Here is an example :
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Going to a boarding school saved his life because he wasn’t doing any work at home and was always watching TV or hanging out with his friends.[/FONT]
    Many thanks for your help
    [FONT=&quot][/FONT]
     
  4. bloomiegirl

    bloomiegirl Senior Member

    New York
    US English
    I think this is the past progessive tense, to indicate past action that took place over a period of time. Here's a chart from Purdue University that may be helpful. I hope it helps. :)
     
  5. gregodelph

    gregodelph Senior Member

    FRENCH
    You are probably right in this context and for the example I gave you. But what about

    "He is always arguing with his parents."

    How could you justify the use of the progressive form?

    A+
     
  6. bloomiegirl

    bloomiegirl Senior Member

    New York
    US English
    I'm not sure what specific problem you perceive. Is your thought that this should be "He always argues with his parents"? Well, it could be. On the other hand, if the speaker wants to emphasize that this is a pattern of behavior that is still happening, then I think that would explain the choice of the progressive form. But I'm really just guessing, since I don't know the whole context.

    Edit: Oh, I almost forgot... Here's another link, with info about the present progressive tense.
     
  7. gregodelph

    gregodelph Senior Member

    FRENCH
    Thanks for the links and your answer.

    "a pattern of behaviour that is still happening" seems to be the answer to my question.
     
  8. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    In this case the continuous tense connotes that the action is done repeatedly, most likely is prolonged and the annoyance/exasperation of the speaker. The simple tense is neutral by default.
     
  9. chambers Senior Member

    français - French
    En utilisant la forme progressive avec "always" et "_ing" permet de montrer que le locuteur est soit très surpris ou irrité par telle ou telle habitude. Quelque part, on formule un reproche.

    On peut faire de même avec "continually" et "constantly".

    Exemple :

    He was always talking about himself; he was so boring.
     
  10. gregodelph

    gregodelph Senior Member

    FRENCH
    La valeur aspectuelle (Be + V-ING) de commentaire n'est pas nécessairement de la surprise ou de la colère. Bien entendu cela peut être valable pour des contextes particuliers.

    Parlerait-on alors de modalisation de l'énoncé en utilisant Be + V-ING? Par opposition, on aurait le présent simple qui serait neutre, sans intervention particulière de l'énonciateur?

    He always argues with his parents.
    vs He is always arguing with his parents (point de vue de l'énonciateur plus marqué)
     
  11. chambers Senior Member

    français - French
    He always argues....(Il se dispute toujours avec ses parents) C'est habituel dans le temps, mais le locuteur n'en rajoute pas.

    "He is always arguing" est équivalent à notre "Il n'arrête pas de se disputer avec...." Et là, on formule quelque part un reproche. Certes, c'est le point de vue de l'énonciateur, mais cela reste une forme de reproche. (d'où l'idée que le locuteur est irrité ou surpris.)
     
  12. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    Il ne cesse de se disputer avec ses parents ?

    Edit - ou bien n'arrête pas comme l'a dit chambers.
     
  13. chambers Senior Member

    français - French
    "Il ne cesse de se disputer avec ses parents" Bien sûr, cette traduction est aussi correcte.
     
  14. stamanu

    stamanu Senior Member

    Grenoble (in the French Alps)
    French by descent and misfortune
    Chambers is 100% right. And don't forget to stress the first syllable of always : He is 'always arguing with his parents.
     
  15. v_jazz New Member

    Beirut, Lebanon
    Armenian
    Je crois que "he always argues" est plus general
    "He is always arguing" suggests a certain time interval... that is, "he is always arguing with his parents these days"
    OR
    "He is always arguing with his parents since his brother moved out of the house"

    I dunno... but this is what comes to my mind
     
  16. bloomiegirl

    bloomiegirl Senior Member

    New York
    US English
    Exactly so, V-Jazz... Maybe that's why it's called the present continuous or present progressive tense.
    There's even a Wiki article that addresses English usage and French usage.
     
  17. Nate385 Senior Member

    Saint-Pétersbourg
    Français
    Bonjour,

    Concernant ces mots, utilise-t-on le present simple ou le present continuous?

    Every single day, I wake up/I'm waking up at 8 am.
    Everytime, I make/I'm making the same mistake.
    I always meet up/I'm always meeting up with my friends in this bar.
    Sometimes, I forget/I'm forgetting my keys at home.
    I often go/I'm going often the doctor because of different illnesses.

    Y a-t-il une règle générale ou une façon de penser qui permettrait d'aider à choisir soit le present simple soit le present continous?

    Merci d'avance! :) :)
     
  18. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    I'd use the simple present in each of those, because each instance is a habitual (and relatively brief) action, rather than something you do over a long duration.

    The possible exception: I can imagine saying "I"m always meeting up with friends" if it happens by chance rather than on purpose, but I really don't know why it works that way. I'm sorry....

    Edited to add: every time should be written as two words.
     
  19. moustic Senior Member

    near Limoges
    British English
    I agree with Kelly. You need the simple present in most of these instances. You are talking about habits.

    However, you can use "always" with BE+ing -> "I'm always forgetting my keys. I'm always meeting up with friends." In this case, you are commenting on a repetitive action -> je n'arrête pas de ...
     
  20. Latege Junior Member

    English - England
    As Kelly B says, the simple present is best except in the case of "always" where both are acceptable but mean different things:

    "I always (without exception and deliberately) meet up with my friends in this bar."
    "I'm always (repeatedly but rather by chance) meeting up with my friends in this bar."
     
  21. Nate385 Senior Member

    Saint-Pétersbourg
    Français
    Big thanks for your answers! It's already clearer to me now :).

    @Kelly B: Yep thanks for correcting me :).
     

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