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TESOL Videos - Overview of All English Tenses - Present Tenses - Present Perfect Continuous - Overview
And now we'll have a look at the present perfect continuous tense. As its name suggests, what we're going to do is combine the present continuous usages and the present perfect usages into a tense that basically expresses the fact that we've got an action continuing up until the present point in time. For the form of this tense, again, we're going to combine into various aspects of both the perfect and the continuous tenses. If we have a look we always begin with our subjects, then we have our, two now, helping verbs. The helping verb 'to have' for the perfect tenses, as well as the helping verb 'be' for the continuous tenses. For our subjects 'I', 'you', 'we' and 'they', we leave 'have' as 'have' and for 'he', 'she' and 'it', we conjugate it to 'has'. Because it's a continuous tense, of course we need to use the verb plus '-ing'. This results in sentences such as 'I have been teaching quite some time.' or 'She has been teaching for 15 years.' The negative form of the present perfect continuous remains the same as the positive form and we simply add 'not' in between our two helping verbs 'have' and 'be'. In order to make the present perfect continuous questions, again following with that pattern of inversion, what we've done is put the auxiliary verb 'have' at the beginning of the sentence followed now by the subject 'Have I been teaching for five years?' could be a sentence used there and again, we're going to conjugate our verb to 'has' for 'he', 'she', 'it', resulting in 'Has she been teaching for five years?' The usages for the continuous tense are very similar to that of the present perfect tense but here the focus is on the action and the fact that it has been continuing for some time leading up to the present. Let's have a look. We've got incomplete and ongoing activities with duration. 'I have been teaching for 10 years.' Then, we have our recently finished activities with present results. So our recently finished activity is 'chopping trees' but the present result is 'he is tired' so results in a sentence reading 'He is tired because he's been shopping trees.'
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This unit was stuffed full of information relating to teaching pronunciation. It emphasized the importance of teaching the subject as an important part of language learning, even though, apparently, some teachers find it intimidating. The unit covered intonation and stress and ways to teach them, as well as the international phonetic alphabet (sort of) and both the manner and place of articulation for phonemes in the mouth. This was all very good review and I loved the IPA reading practice. Since my phonology class years ago I have often written in IPA for the fun of it (or to transcribe the pronunciation of some word or phrase I came across while in England). A couple of things about the IPA taught here bugged me though. I suppose it's just because it's a different version of IPA (a British version or simply one of a few versions, I don't know) but some of the symbols were different than the ones I am familiar with, such as [eU] (as found in the text and I'm unable to copy) for \"o\" like \"old.\" That's a little strange. Oh well, it's a different system. However, there were a couple of mistakes in the text/unit that someone should look into. It mentions that there is only one glottal sound in English, [h], when there is actually also the glottal stop, such as in the word \"button.\" Also, the text said that we say a [d] instead of a [t] in \"butter,\" which is not correct. We use a flap in place of the [t] in \"butter\" not a [d]. Maybe the sound is more emphasized in British English and becomes a [d]? I hadn't thought so. In some cases--some accents such as cockney and possibly estuary--the [t] may disappear entirely, becoming a glottal stop, so it sounds more like \"buh-uh.\" I understand this is just a basic course but it may need a little fine-tuning.