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Continuous Verb

Causative verbs express an action which is caused to happen. In other words, when I have something done for me I cause it to happen. In other words, I do not actually do anything, but ask someone else to do it for me. This is the sense of causative verbs. Intermediate to advanced level English learners should study the causative verb as an alternative to the passive voice.

Describe action using continuos verbs

A continuous verb describes an action that happened not just once, but rather over a period of time. In English, it almost always makes use of a gerund (an "-ing" word) along with some conjugation of the verb "is." The continuous verb is called that because the action "continues" over time (either in the past, present, or future). It does not just happen at a single instant within time. 

Proper grammar usage

Here is an example for you of the continuous verb being used correctly within the context of a real sentence. 

"The man was going downtown to catch the train, because this was how he normally made his everyday commute to his workplace."

In this sentence, "going" is a continuous verb that indicates that a man is engaged in a certain action over a period of time. 

Now, here is an example of the continuous verb being used in an incorrect way

"The woman had running around her neighborhood; she was committed to exercising every day so that she could get into better shape." 

In this sentence, the verb construction "had running" should really say "was running". 

In case you need further clarification, here are a couple rules you can follow in order to make sure that you're using the continuous verb correctly. 

  1. Again, the continuous verb in English almost always has the form of a conjugation of "is" plus a gerund. This is the case, for example, in constructions such as "was running", "is running", and "will be cooking". The continuous verb is generally meant to indicate that a person is in a state of performing a certain action. 
  2. The continuous verb can have past, present, and future tenses (see more examples of verbs and tenses). This grammatical form is can say not only that something is happening right now, but also that something has happened or will happen over a period of time. The most important point about the continuous verb is just that there must be duration over time. 

Continuous verbs used to clarify immediacy

The continuous verb can often be used to convey a sense of immediacy when describing a person or action. For example, if you were to say that the man "has played" his guitar, then this gives the impression that the event was a thing purely of the past, completely separated from the present. 

However, if you were to use the continuous verb form in order to say that the man "was playing" his guitar, then this takes your imagination to the actual, immediate situation of the person performing the action. This is true whether the continuous verb is referring to the past, present, or future. It is as though you are walking with the person performing an action, while he is performing it. 

Usually, you have a choice between using the continuous verb or some other construction in order to express a given thought. For example, you could just as easily say that a man walked down the street as you could that the man was walking down the street. Whether you will use the continuous verb form thus depends on the kind of mood you want to establish, or whether you want to call specific attention to the duration of time.  

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