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El tiempo continuo

El tiempo continuo (o progresivo) comprende dos partes: el verbo "to be" en presente, pasado o futuro, combinado con el participio presente del verbo principal. Es una forma verbal común en el idioma inglés, en realidad más común que el tiempo simple en el idioma hablado.

 

Encontremos un ejemplo en Yabla English del tiempo presente continuo:

 

Halloween is coming up! -Yes, it is. -Right?

¡Halloween se acerca! -Sí, así es. -¿Correcto?

Subtítulo 25,  The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Camila Cabello at Taylor Swift's Halloween Party

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Para formar el tiempo presente continuo descrito, el tiempo presente del verbo "to be" ("es") se combina con el participio presente del verbo "to come up" (añadiendo "ing") al final del verbo. El tiempo presente continuo expresa algo que está actualmente incompleto o inacabado.

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Y seguimos con el tiempo pasado continuo:

 

Rapunzel was tying these pieces together to make a rope.

Rapunzel estaba atando estas piezas para hacer una cuerda

Subtítulo  39, Fairy Tales Rapunzel - Part 2

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Para formar el tiempo pasado continuo del ejemplo, el tiempo pasado del verbo "to be" ("was") se combina con el participio presente del verbo "to tie". El tiempo pasado continuo expresa algo que está incompleto o inacabado en el pasado.

Y por último, el tiempo continuo del futuro:

 

So, Julia, this is where you will be working from.

Entonces, Julia, aquí es desde donde va a trabajar.

Subtítulo 14, Business English Starting on a new job - Part 2

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Para formar el tiempo futuro continuo anterior, el tiempo futuro del verbo "to be" ("será") se combina con el participio presente del verbo "to work". El tiempo continuo futuro expresa que algo está incompleto o inacabado que sucederá en el futuro. En este caso, el trabajo se realizará en algún momento en el futuro.

 

Aprendizaje adicional 

 

Echa un vistazo a este artículo sobre formas verbales básicas y busca en Yabla English  algunos verbos de participio presente (que terminan en -ing) y observa cómo se usan estos tiempos en el contexto cotidiano.

 

Commonly Paired Words Part I

Every language has words that standardly go together in stock phrases, also called "collocations." These are word combinations that are preferred by native speakers, and though there are other words that you could use to express the same thing, those other words might sound awkward or odd. For instance, you would usually say "a strong cup of tea." A "powerful cup of tea" or a "robust cup of tea" may have a very similar meaning, they sound odd to the ears of a native speaker. On the positive side, such word pairings sound very "normal," but they could also be criticized as being clichés when they are overused.

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Advice is usually offered or given:

 

What advice do you give to five-year-old girls who want to be president of the United States?

Captions 15-16, Entertainment Weekly - The Obamas Answer Kids' Adorable Questions - Part 1

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If I was to give them any advice, I think it would be just go for it.

Caption 22, Naish Kiteboarding TV - Snowkiting Ragnarok

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If the advice is heeded, then it is usually said to have been taken

 

I don't know how well I took their advice.

Caption 65, Numberphile - Connect Four

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Homework, the extra studying that you do away from school, is usually done, though your parents or teacher might also ask you if you have finished your homework

 

But you can't do that if you don't study and do your homework.

Caption 49, Entertainment Weekly - The Obamas Answer Kids' Adorable Questions - Part 1

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A risk, which describes doing something that is somehow dangerous, is something that is taken.

 

Our clients take big risks everyday.

Caption 25, Jump for Opportunity - Official Video

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I decided to take the risk and tell her.

Caption 44, The Apartment - The Date - Part 3

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You could dispatch or relay an email, but the standard expression is for an email to be sent

 

Could you please send me an email?

Caption 51, Business English - Starting on a new job - Part 2

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And then finally, Eric sent me an email.

Caption 43, Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World - Electric Playground Interview - Part 3

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Further Learning
Go to this page and see some other examples of standard English word combinations. Try to generally pay attention to the way words are combined by native English speakers and try to learn these phrases, since many are particularly unique to the language, such as the English phrase "to make up your mind" about something. See if you can find some examples of that phrase on Yabla English.

Making Phone Calls in English

Making a phone call in a language that is not your mother tongue can be quite nerve-racking! For this month's newsletter, we'll look some phrases that are commonly used in both formal and informal phone conversations.

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People generally answer the phone “Hello?” on their private line, with “[Last name] residence” on a family home phone number, or more formally by using the word “speaking.”

 

Hi, this is the Irish Press, Daniel speaking.

Caption 44, Business English - Starting on a new job - Part 2

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When you make a call, you will first need to introduce yourself. 

 

Hello, this is Daniel. -Hi Daniel, this is Julia from Phonez and More.

Caption 10, Business English - Difficulties with coworkers and contracts - Part 2

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Uh, hi, Jonathan. It's Julia Smith for the marketing department interview.

Caption 7, Business English - The job interview - Part 2

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You might then need to ask if the person you want to speak to is available. The informal version is “Is [name] there?”, but for formal calls it’s better to use the following:

 

May I please speak to Daniel in advertising sales?

Caption 9, Business English - Difficulties with coworkers and contracts - Part 2

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Sometimes you might want to state the purpose of your call right away, so that the person answering can re-direct your call to someone who can help you.

 

Hi, I'm calling about an apartment that I saw listed on Craig's List?

Caption 33, Jessica and Liz - how much and how many

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The formal way to conclude a phone conversation might involve thanking the person or setting up a next time to talk. 

 

Have a good day and I'll talk to you soon. 'Bye. -Goodbye.

Caption 56, Business English - Difficulties with coworkers and contracts - Part 2

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Of course, between friends, even if they are cartoon characters, much more informal goodbyes are possible: 

 

I'll talk to ya later, Mick. I gotta go.

Caption 32, A Mickey Mouse Cartoon - Goofy's Grandma

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Further Learning
Watch the business English videos linked above on Yabla English to hear the sentences in the full context of a formal conversation. This helpful webpage provides additional telephone conversations with both audio and a transcription available.

The Continuous Tense

The continuous (or progressive) tense comprises two parts: the verb "to be" in the present, past, or future tense, combined with the present participle of the main verb. It is a common verbal form in the English language, actually more common than the simple tense in the spoken language.

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Let's find an example on Yabla English of the present continuous tense:

 

Time is running out.

Caption 29, George Clooney - Video diary from Sudan and Chad

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To form the above present continuous tense, the present tense of the verb "to be" ("is") is combined with the present participle of the verb "to run" (by adding "ing," or in this case "-ning") to the end of the verb. The present continuous tense expresses something that is presently incomplete or unfinished. In the above case, there is still time enough now, but soon there will not be.

 

And the past continuous tense:

 

I was laughing so hard.

Caption 42, Jim White - Interview

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To form the above past continuous tense, the past tense of the verb "to be" ("was") is combined with the present participle of the verb "to laugh." The past continuous tense expresses something that is incomplete or unfinished in the past. In the above case, laughing was occurring during a past event.

 

And lastly, the future continuous tense:

 

This is where you will be working from.

Caption 14, Business English - Starting on a new job

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To form the above future continuous tense, the future tense of the verb "to be" ("will be") is combined with the present participle of the verb "to work." The future continuous tense expresses something is incomplete or unfinished that will happen in the future. In the above case, work will be performed at some point in the future.

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Further Learning
Take a look at this list of basic verb forms, and search Yabla English for some of your favorite English present participle verbs (ending in -ing) and see these tenses used in a real-world context.

Grammar

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