Here is a summary of what I’ve learnt while reading the 4th unit.
First,I read that there are three different times in English ; the past, the present and the future. Each of them has four aspects; simple, continuous, perfect and perfect continuous.
I also learned that :
-The form defines the affirmative (positive), negative and question aspects of the tense or grammar point. It also includes the grammatical construction and fundamental rules regarding how the tense or grammar point is used.
-I also read that the usages represent how and under what circumstances the tense or grammar point is used. Many tenses can be used in different ways and have several usages, and occasionally some usages overlap from one tense to another.
-I also learned that some student errors are typical. They are therefore often predictable and a good strategy is to formulate correction strategies and examples in advance.
-Finally, I read that some activities encourage the communicative use of the tense or grammar point and are particularly useful during the Activate stage of a lesson.
I also learned, while reading the Unit number four, that the Present Simple form has the following structure :
-When the form is affirmative, it looks like this: (subject + base form [+s/es])
-When the form is negative, it goes as follows: (subject + aux. verb 'do' + not + base form)
When the form involves a question, the form is the following: (aux. verb 'do' + subject + base form)
-In order to form the third person singular, when using most verbs, we need to add “s” to the base form of the verb. When a verb ends in a consonant plus “y”, the “y” becomes an i and then we need to add es. When a verb ends in “o”, “s” ,”z”, “x”, “ch”, and “sh”, we need to add “es” . -However, in the negative form, the auxiliary verb “doesn't” has the “s” so the main verb doesn't need an “s”.
When using the present simple form, some of the common errors include :
-Forgetting to add an “s” at the end of the verb when using the third person singular in the affirmative form.
-Forgetting to use the auxiliary verb “do” when using the negative or question forms.
-Adding an “s” at the end of the verb when using the third person singular even when it’s not required.
-Adding the auxiliary verb “be” when using the present simple form.
The fourth unit also covered the Present Continuous tense. I learned that it is made with the Present Simple tense of the auxiliary verb “to be” and the Present Participle (verb plus “ing”) of the main verb and that the Present Continuous form has the following structure:
-When the form is affirmative, it looks like this : (subject + aux. verb 'be' + verb+ing).
-When the form is negative, it goes as follows : (subject + aux. verb 'be' + not + verb+ing).
-When the form involves a question, the structure is the following : (aux. verb 'be' + subject + verb+ing).
Regarding the pronunciation of the Present Continuous tense, the main difficulty encountered by beginners is the pronunciation of the contracted form.
I also read that most non-action verbs, referred to as non-progressive verbs, are not normally used in the continuous forms and that we usually use the simple form instead. Following are some of the most common : like, love, hate, understand, want, believe, hear, own, owe, seem, appear, wish, mean, remember.
Non-action verbs can be roughly divided into the following groups:
-Verbs of the senses (involuntary)
-Verbs expressing feelings and emotions
-Verbs of mental activity
-Verbs of possession
There are also exceptions and some verbs have different meanings depending on whether they are used in the simple or continuous tense
I also learned that, some of the main usages of the present continuous are the following :
-To talk about an action that is in progress at the time of speaking.
-To talk about a temporary action that is not necessarily in progress at the time of speaking.
-To emphasize very frequent actions (often with “always”).
-To refer to background events in a present story.
-To describe developing situations.
-To refer to a regular action around a point of time.
When using the present continuous tense, some of the typical mistakes are the following :
-Forgetting to use the auxiliary verb “be”, misusing it or not using it when they should have.
-Using the present continuous form when they should have used the Present Simple.
During my reading, I also learned about the Present Perfect tense which relates the past to the present. This tense uses the structures below :
-“I”/”you”/”we”/”they” have or “he”/”she”/”it” has, plus the Past Participle. When it’s a regular verb, the past participle goes as follows : (verb plus “ed”). There are however many irregular verbs such as “write”.
When the form is affirmative, it looks like this : (subject + aux. verb 'have' + past participle).
When the form is negative, it goes as follows : (subject + aux. verb 'have' + not + past participle).
When the form involves a question, the structure is the following : (aux. verb 'have' + subject + past participle).
The Present Perfect also has the following usages:
-When we talk about finished actions or states that happened at an indefinite time. It refers to general experience without specific detail.
-When we are thinking about completed past actions carried out in an unfinished time period at the time of speaking.
-When we talk about something which began in the past and is still true now at the time of speaking. We don't know if this is likely to continue or not.
-When we describe past actions with present results.
I also read that contractions are normally used in speech when using this tense.
Another thing I’ve learnt while reading the fourth unit is that we use “for” with periods of time and “since” with points in time.
Another section of the unit was about irregular Past Participles. With regular Past Participles the verb will end in “ed” but with the irregular ones,we have to learn from memory.
Some typical mistakes that students make are the following :
-Confusing the Present Continuous and the Present Perfect.
-Using the Present Perfect Continuous tense when they should have used the Simple Past .
-Using the auxiliary verbs “being” or “having” when it’s not necessary or misusing them.
This tense relates past activities to the present. It implies that either the activity is likely to continue in the future, or that the activity was in progress for some length of time, or both.
During my reading, I also learned that the Present Perfect Continuous form follows the structure below :
-When the form is affirmative, it looks like this : (subject + aux. verb 'have' + been + verb+ing).
-When the form is negative, it goes as follows : (subject + aux. verb 'have' + not + been + verb+ing).
-When the form involves a question, the structure is the following : (aux. verb 'have' + subject + been + verb+ing).
The Present Perfect Continuous Usages are the following :
-To communicate an incomplete and ongoing activity when we want to say how long it has continued.
-To describe a recently finished, uninterrupted activity which has a present result.
Some typical student errors include :
-Using verbs that don't take the continuous form.
-Having a hard time understanding the difference between the Present Perfect or the Present Perfect Continuous.
A good way to explain it would be to tell them that, in the Present Perfect Continuous, the emphasis is on the action/activity but not the result or completed action. It’s also important to note that we do not use the Present Perfect Continuous to communicate the number of things we have done; for this we use the present perfect.