[Verbal] Aspect


Senior Member
English (AmE)
Definition: In linguistics, one of three verbal inflections that functions as a time reference, and often time works in conjunction with the verb tense. The most common verbal aspects are perfective and imperfective.

I.e.–Jack is walking continuous - aspect, present - tense.

Therefore, when one says the present continuous tense, it is actually the continuous aspect and the present tense.


How English Works


(more to come).
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  • AmaryllisBunny

    Senior Member
    English (AmE)
    How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction, Third Edition By Anne Curzan and Michael Adams

    'aspect Category of VERB meaning that indicates whether, for instance, an action is in progress or completed, momentary or habitual, etc...' (489)

    "Aspect marks whether the action of the verb is completed (the perfect) or continuous (the progressive). The perfect and progressive can co-occur: I have been loving this chapter. Standard varieties of English mark only the present and past perfect and the progressive. Some nonstandard varieties, such as African American English, also mark habitual action and remote past perfect..." (137).


    Senior Member
    "Aspect" in this sense goes far more widely than English. Students of classical Greek have had to cope with the concept for centuries, when interpreting indicative as opposed to participial, subjunctive, infinitive and optative verb-forms, and I believe it was coined (or at least used) by Quintilian in the 1st century AD. Perhaps worthy of a "Dictionary Addition", but hardly a neologism.