Grammar Tutorial: Future Progressive Tense

Written by Leny Ortega

In the previous tutorials on tenses, we have learned about past progressive tense. We continue our tutorial by discussing future progressive tense.

Future Progressive Tense is used to express an action that is going on in the future before another action is about when a certain time comes. If you are going to analyze this tense of the verb is almost similar to the future perfect tense in idea.

Form: will be + present participle or verb –ing (will be sleeping, will be eating, etc)

Time markers, such as by the year ends, weeks from now, a few months from now, etc., are commonly used to express the future progressive tense.

Example:
1. By the time she retires, she will be participating in many civic activities.
2. I will be sleeping by 12 midnight.
3. He will be receiving many meritorious awards by the time he graduates from the academy.

Exercises: Use the correct form of the verb inside the parentheses.

1. By the time she (finish) cleaning the yard, the unexpected visitors (arrive) to give her a surprise
birthday party.

2. Students (flock) the public schools a few months from now.

3. The family (expect) another baby by the year ends.

4. By the time the candidate (file) his protest, the people (elect) a new president.

5. By the time she (submit) the report, the fact finding committee (release) its own report of the probe.

Answers:

1. The answers are finishes, will be arriving. The pronoun, she, is singular so, we use the s-form of the verb here. Then, the verb in –ing (arriving) is used after the will + be phrase to denote future progressive tense.

2. The future time expression, a few months from now, tells us futurity of the action. It is foreseen that during these months the students will be flocking the public schools.

3. Another time expression is used in this sentence: by the year ends. The family will be expecting another baby to be born before New Year comes.

4. The subject in the phrase, by the time, is the noun candidate which is singular. Therefore, the verb files, is used. Then, the correct future progressive form of the verb (elect), will be electing. The idea here is that before the filing of the protest the winner in the election has already been declared.

5. In this sentence, the by phrase uses the pronoun she, which is obviously a singular. So, submits is the correct form of the verb. Then, in the main sentence, the correct future progressive tense of the verb is will be releasing. Sentence 4 and 5 has almost the same idea.

Understanding Conditionals IV: Mixed Conditionals

There are two mixed types of sentences of unreal condition:

1.) If – clause refers to the present and the main clause refers to the past.
e.g. If he were a fast runner, he would have won the race.

If – clause refers to the past and the main clause refers to the present.
e.g. If he had found a job, he wouldn’t be searching for one now.

Sometimes we make sentences which mix Second and Third Conditionals, especially when a past event has an effect in the present.

Example:
a.) If you hadn’t invited me, I wouldn’t have gone to the party. (=I did go to the party – Third Conditional).
If you hadn’t invited me, I wouldn’t be here now. (=I’m at the party now. – Third + Second Conditionals)

b.) If you had planned things properly, you wouldn’t have got into a mess. (=You didn’t plan – Third Conditional)

If you had planned things at the start, we wouldn’t be in this mess now (=We are in trouble now – Third + Second Conditionals)
All types of conditionals can be mixed. Any tense combination is possible if the context permits it.

Conditional clause main clause
If nobody phoned him he won’t come to the meeting.
If he knew her, he would have spoken to her.
If he had found a job, he wouldn’t be searching for one now.

Exercises: Put the verbs in brackets into the correct form.

  1. If you (not spend) so much money, I (not be) angry now.
  2. If they (post) the parcel yesterday, it (get) here before Friday.
  3. If you (not wake) me up in the middle of the night, I (not feel) so tired now.
  4. If Tom (be) a bit more ambitious, he (find) himself a better job years ago.
  5. If you (know) me better, you (say) that.

Answers:

  1. If you hadn’t spent so much money, I wouldn’t be angry now.
  2. If they posted the parcel yesterday, it won’t get here before Friday.
  3. If you hadn’t woken me up in the middle of the night, I wouldn’t feel so tired now.
  4. If Tom was a bit more ambitious, he would have found himself a better job years ago.
  5. If you knew me better, you wouldn’t have said that.

Understanding Conditionals III: Third Conditional

by Nigina Dustova

We use the Third Conditional to talk about an event or situation that did not happen in the past:

Conditional clause main clause
If + Past Perfect – would + Perfect

If David had been more careful, he wouldn’t have fallen.
If you hadn’t made the mistake, you’d have passed your test.

We can use could + perfect in the if-clause.
If I could have warned you in time, I would have done.

We can use other modal verbs such as could or might+ perfect in the main clause.
If I’d written the address down, I could have saved myself some trouble.

The plan might not have worked if we hadn’t had one great piece of luck.
We can also use continuous forms.

If he hadn’t been evicted by his landlord, he wouldn’t have been sleeping in the streets.
If he had been traveling in that car, he would have been killed too.

Exercises: Put the verbs in brackets into the correct tenses.

  1. If he (not take) his gloves off he (not get) frost bitten.
  2. He didn’t tell me that he was a vegetarian till halfway through the meal. If he (tell) me earlier I (cook) him something more suitable.
  3. I had no map; that’s why I got lost. If I (had) a map I (be) all right.
  4. It’s a pity he never patented his invention. If he (patent) it he (make) a lot of money.
  5. The club secretary is useless. He never tells anybody anything. We (not know) about this meeting if the chairman (not tell) us.

Answers:

  1. If he had not taken his gloves off, he wouldn’t have got frost bitten.
  2. He didn’t tell me that he was a vegetarian till halfway through the meal. If he had told me earlier I would have cooked him something more suitable.
  3. I had no map; that’s why I got lost. If I had had a map I would have been all right.
  4. It’s a pity he never patented his invention. If he had patented it he would have made a lot of money.
  5. The club secretary is useless. He never tells anybody anything. We wouldn’t have known about this meeting if the chairman hadn’t told us.

Note: When you are talking about something that might have happened in the past but did not happen, you use the past perfect tense in the conditional clause. In the main clause, you use `would have’.

Undrestanding Conditionals II: Second Conditional

In the previous post, we have written about First Conditional. In this post, we continue this series by talking about Second Conditional.

We use Second Conditional for unlikely situations in the present or future:
Conditional clause –  Main clause

If + Past Simple – would
If I had a million pounds, I would probably buy a yacht.

The if – clause is usually past simple. However, we can also use the past continuous, could, or were/was to:

If you were coming with me, I’d give you a lift.
If I could have the day off, I’d come with you.
If you were to ask John, I’m sure he would do it.

In the conditional clause, `were’ is sometimes used instead of `was’, especially after `I’.

If I were as big as you, I would kill you.
If I were asked to define my condition, I’d say `bored’.

The main clause often has ‘would’. We can also use ‘could’ or ‘might’.

If we had a calculator, we could work this out a lot quicker.
If she worked harder, she might do even better at her studies.

Exercises: Put the verbs in brackets into the correct form.

  1. If we (work) all night we (finish) in time, but we have no intention of working all night.
  2. If someone (ring) my doorbell at 3 a.m. I (be) very unwilling to open the door.
  3. If I (have) heaps of money I (drink) champagne with every meal.
  4. If the earth suddenly (stop) spinning we all (fly) off it.
  5. Of course I’m not going to give her a diamond ring. If I (give) her a diamond ring she (sell) it.

Answers:

  1. If we worked all night we would finish in time, but we have no intention of working all night.
  2. If someone rang my doorbell at 3 a.m. I would be very unwilling to open the door.
  3. If I had heaps of money I would drink champagne with every meal.
  4. If the earth suddenly stopped spinning, we would all fly off it.
  5. Of course I’m not going to give her a diamond ring. If I gave her a diamond ring she would sell it.

Note: When you are talking about an unlikely situation, you use the simple past tense in the conditional clause, and `would’ in the main clause.

Understanding Conditionals I: First Conditional

We use First Conditionals to talk about events which are possible. The Conditional clause can refer to the present or the future.

Conditional clause main clause
If + Present Simple – will + bare infinitive

  1. If we hurry, we’ll catch the bus.
  2. If we miss it, there’ll be another one.

The Conditional clause can come before or after the main clause. We use a comma at the end of the Conditional clause when it comes first.

  1. If I hear any news, I’ll phone you.
  2. I will phone you if I hear any news.

Other structures are possible, depending on what you want to say.
Conditional clause main clause
If + Present Simple – modal verb
If + Present Simple – be going to (future)
If + Present Simple – Imperative
If + Present Continuous – will + bare infinitive
If + Present Perfect – will + bare infinitive
If + Present Perfect – modal verb
Imperative – and/or + will

Exercises: Put the verbs in brackets into the correct form.

  1. If you (see) Tom (tell) him I have message for him.
  2. If you’d like some ice I (get) some from the fridge.
  3. That book is overdue. If you (not take) it back to the library tomorrow you (have) to pay a fine.
  4. If you (want) to see some of his drawings I (send) them round to your office.
  5. (take) more exercise and you’ll soon feel better.

Answers:

  1. If you see Tom tell him I have message for him.
  2. If you’d like some ice I will get some from the fridge.
  3. That book is overdue. If you don’t take it back to the library tomorrow you will have to pay a fine.
  4. If you want to see some of his drawings I will send them round to your office.
  5. Take more exercise and you’ll soon feel better.

Note: Conditional clauses are often used in imperative structures. Present Simple in Conditional clause and imperative in the main clause.

When you are talking about a possible situation in the present, or a possible future occurrence, you usually use the simple present tense in the conditional clause and the simple future tense in the main clause.
If the sentence starts with the Imperative verb, you use simple future tense in the main clause.

How to Solve Digit Problems Part II

In the previous post, we have discussed the basics of digit problems. We have learned the decimal number system or the number system that we use everyday. In this system, each digit is multiplied by powers of 10. For instance, 871 means

(8 \times 10^2) + (7 \times 10^1) + (1 \times 10^0).

Recall that 10^0 = 1.

In this post, we continue this series by providing another detailed example.

Problem

The sum of the digits of a 2-digit number is 9. If the digits are reversed, the new number is 45 more than the original number. What are the numbers?

Solution and Discussion

If the tens digit of the number is x, then the ones digit is 9 - x (can you see why?).

Since the tens digit is multiplied by 10, the original number can be represented as

10x + (9 - x).

Simplifying the previous expression, we have 10x – x + 9 = 9x + 9.

Now, if we reverse the number, then 9 - x becomes the tens digit and the ones digit becomes x. So, multiplying the tens digit by 10, we have

10(9 - x) + x.

Simplifying the expression we have 10 – 10x + x =  90 – 9x.

As shown in the problem, the new number (the reversed number) is 45 more than the original number. Therefore,

reversed numberoriginal number = 45.

Substituting the expressions above, we have

90 – 9x – (9x + 9) = 45.

Simplifying, we have

90 - 9x - 9x - 9 = 45
81 - 18x = 45
18x = 81 - 45
18x = 36
x = 2.

Therefore, the tens digit of the original number is 2 and the ones digit is 9 - 2 = 7.

So, the original number is 27 and the reversed number is 72.

Now, the problem says that the new number is 45 more than the original number. And this is correct since 72 - 27 = 45.

How to Solve Digit Problems Part I

Digit Problems is one of the word problems in Algebra. To be able to solve this problem, you must understand how our number system works. Our number system is called the decimal number system because the numbers in each place value is multiplied by powers of 10 (deci means 10). For instance, the number 284 has digits 2, 8, and 4 but has a value of 200 + 80 + 4. That is,

(100 times 2) + (10 times 8) + (4 times 1) = 284.

As you can observe, when our number system is expanded, the hundreds digit is multiplied by 100, the tens digit is multiplied by 10, and the units digit (or the ones digit) is multiplied by 1. Then, all those numbers are added. The numbers 100, 10, and 1 are powers of 10: 10^2 = 100, 10^1 = 10, and 10^0 = 1. So, numbers with h, t, and u as hundreds, tens, units digits respectively has value

100h + 10t + u.

It is clear that this is also true for higher number of digits such as thousands, ten thousands, hundred thousands, and so on.

Many of the given numbers in this type of problem have their digits reversed. As we can see, if 10t + u is reversed, then it becomes 10u + t. For instance, 32 = 10(3) + 1(2) when reversed is 23 = 10(2)+ 1(3). Now, that we have already learned the basics, we proceed to our sample problem.

Worked Example

The tens digit of a number is twice the units digit. If the digits are reversed, the new number is 18 less than the original. What are the numbers?

Solution and Explanation

The tens digit of a number is twice the unit digit. This means that if we let the units digit be x, then the tens digit is 2x. As we have mentioned above, we multiply the tens digit with 10 and the units digit with 1. So, the number is

(10)(2x) + x.

Now, when the digits are reversed, then x becomes the tens digit and 2x becomes the ones digit. So, the value of the number is

(10)(x) + 2x.

From the problem above, the number with reversed digit is 18 less than the original number. That means, that if we subtract 18 from original number, it will equal the new number. That is,

(10)(2x) + x - 18 = 10(x) + 2x
20x + x - 18 = 12x
21x - 18 = 12x
9x = 18
x = 2
2x = 4

So, the number is 42 and the reversed number is 24.

Check: 42 – 24 = 18.

Grammar Tutorial: What is parallelism?

Written by Nigina Dustova

Basically, almost all of the verb structures need to be the same verb tense; this holds true even when the verb acts as a noun. However, this is not true when the events take place at different times.

Examples: Same tenses:

1.) She walked along the road, ate some ice cream, and then rode the bike.

2.) Spiking the ball, upsetting the fans, and storming off the court are not ways to make friends.

Different times:

3.) After we get up, we will go to the store.

4.) He will return as soon as he has train fare.

Exercises on Parallelism

Correct the sentences.

  1. The team laughed all the way home, sang until midnight, and went swimming until dawn.
  2. The man, after he won the championship, returned to his normal life.
  3. Maybe he had not done it correctly, but he tried.
  4. I liked hiking as a child, sleeping under the stars, and to get up early the next day.
  5. I was thrilled, relieved, sad, and overjoyed – all at once.

Answers:

  1. The team laughed all the way home, sang until midnight, and swam until dawn.In this sentence, swam must be simple past tense like the other two verbs in the sentence.
  2. The man, after he had won the championship, returned to his normal life. We must have past perfect tense in this case, because he won the championship prior to returning to normal life. On these questions, always look at the time relationship, especially between clauses.
  3. Maybe he did not do it correctly, but he tried.We need simple past tense on both sides of the comma. Past perfect is wrong with the first clause, because he did it and tried at the same time.
  4. I liked hiking as a child, sleeping under the stars, and getting up early the next day.We use –ing ending, as with hiking and sleeping.
  5. I was thrilled, relieved, saddened, and overjoyed – all at once. We need V3 (a verbal) on all of these.
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