English Lessons for Experts: Past Simple & Continuous

I’ve decided to continue looking at some of the basic aspects of the English language, as I began before. From now on it’ll be a little different, as I won’t go into much detail about what a lesson might look like, mainly because the principles remain largely the same. If you’re a native speaker, you might find this enlightening, and if not, it might be a useful refresher of things you’ve already learned. Before looking at some of the main past tenses, let’s have a quick recap of the present simple and continuous, which I looked at before, but not in much detail:

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English Lesson: Present Simple & Continuous

Today I thought I’d provide a slightly more detailed look at how we usually go about teaching English. If you’re a native speaker, it might be interesting to get a look at the rules and structures of the language which you’re not normally aware of. If you’re a non-native speaker, you’ve probably learned this already, but it might be useful to get a top-up!

I’m going to go through a fairly typical lesson, then make a few notes about it afterwards. Continue reading

How do You be Doing?

When does English sound like jazz?

When you’re Irish.

When I was a younger man I thought nothing of talking about my habits and routines in such terms:

I do be going to the park regularly.

I do be often working on Saturdays. 

If I were to translate that into more standard English, it would be:

I go to the park regularly.

I often work on Saturdays.

These latter sentences are in the present simple tense, which we use to talk about routines, habits, and general truths. So why would I choose a more convoluted form instead of something more… simple? Well, you can’t change where you’re born. Such a structure (I do be +-ing), while not so common anymore, was a common part of Irish English (or Hiberno-English). Continue reading