Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Guida indispensabile alla grammatica inglese

SIMPLE PRESENT Habits, Repeated Actions - I vomit on cabinet ministers whenever I can.

Permanent States - I am Irish. / Silvius is a wanker. / Vomit smells.

Is often used with Adverbs of Frequency - I usually vomit when I hear Emile Faith’s voice. / My dog always vomits when he sees Bruno Scooter on TV:



PRESENT CONTINUOUS

At the moment
- Sorry, darling, I’m vomiting on Umbert at the moment so I can’t help you wash the dishes.

In this period - I’m vomiting every day at the moment because I keep hearing such nauseating rubbish spoken on TV.

Future Arrangement - I’m vomiting in a “Puke on a Criminal” Competition tomorrow.



SIMPLE PAST

With specific past time
- I vomited on Mary Star yesterday evening.

When the specific past time is implicit (i.e. both speaker and listener know when even if it is not stated - Which bits of her did you vomit on? [“yesterday evening” is implicit]

Asking when - When did you last vomit on Mary Star?



PAST CONTINUOUS

Past action in progress at a given moment
- I was vomiting on the prime minister when the Angel of the Lord appeared bringing a message of personal thanks from God.



FUTURE - BE GOING TO + INFINITIVE

Future intentions
- I’m going to vomit on the next person who tells me that Silvius is “in gamba”.



FUTURE - WILL/SHALL

After the verb “think”
- I think I will vomit on Sarah Palin this afternoon.

Making promises – Trust me, darling, I will vomit on Mr Rent as soon as I see him.

For spontaneous (non-premeditated decisions) - I’ll vomit now, that way I can go out later.



CONDITIONALS

1st conditional (real possibility)
- If I have time today, I will vomit on Mr Bonds.

2nd conditional (more remote hypothesis) - If I were invited onto his programme, I would vomit on Bruno Scooter.

3rd conditional (no longer possible) – If I had been present at Bruno's birth, I would have vomited over the midwife.



PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE

Finished action, time not important
- I have vomited on many Italian cabinet ministers but I have never vomited on a high-ranking German

Past action, present time - I have vomited on four cabinet ministers today / this week / this month.

Announcing news – British prime minister David Cameron has vomited over his Italian counterpart.

With “How long…?” “for” and “since” to express an unfinished action - How long have you wanted to vomit on Mr Three-Mountains? / For many years now I have wanted to vomit on Mr Three-Mountains. / I have wanted to vomit on Mr Three-Mountains since I first heard him speak.

(NB in many cases, including this one, the Present Perfect Simple and Present Perfect Continuous are practically interchangeable, hence: How long have you been wanting to vomit on Mr Three-Mountains? / For many years now I have been wanting to vomit on Mr Three-Mountains. / I have been wanting to vomit on Mr Three-Mountains since I first heard him speak. )

Past action, present consequence – Someone has vomited on Silvius. [That is why he is now covered in small, evil-smelling pieces of diced carrot.]

The Present Perfect is often used with certain adverbs – I have just vomited on Silvius. / I have recently vomited on Silvius and several of his colleagues. / My grandmother has not vomited on Silvius yet. / Are you seriously telling me you still haven’t vomited on Silvius?



PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS

Describing recent activity where the focus is not on specific results (the action may be finished or unfinished)
– I have been vomiting on a lot of Silvius's friends recently. (cf. I have vomited on 73 of Silvius's friends this week).

With “How long…?” “for” and since” to express an unfinished action – How long have you been vomiting on Silvius’s friends? / I have been vomiting on Silvius’s friends for ten years now. / I have been vomiting on Silvius’s friends since I was 3 years old.



PAST PERFECT SIMPLE

Referring to a past action that precedes the past time on which the speaker is already focusing
- I had met Mrs Lendjames several times before the day I vomited that Chinese lunch over her.



PAST PERFECT CONTINUOUS

Referring to a continual (recurrent) or continuous (uninterrupted) past action in the period that precedes the past time on which the speaker is already focusing
- I had been vomiting on cabinet ministers for many years before I was first nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. / I had been vomiting for at least 30 seconds when Bruno stopped speaking.



OBLIGATION

Obligation imposed by speaker
- You must finish vomiting over these photos of the cabinet before you go out to play.

Obligation not imposed by speaker - I have to finish vomiting over these photos of the cabinet before my mother will let me go out to play

Ogni riferimento a persone esistenti o a fatti realmente accaduti è puramente casuale

9 comments:

Federica Rossi said...

Ci ho messo un po' solo per "Mrs Lendjames", ma dopo ho riso per un quarto d'ora. Il tuo blog è bellissimo. Complimenti!

Paul said...

Grazie, Federica!

kOoLiNuS said...

Tawny Wasp instead of Bruno Scooter was too "schoolastic"?

Paul said...

"Tawny wasp" è bellissimo ma "wasp" è un pò troppo intelligente per il soggetto che avevo in mente,

Anonymous said...

Grazie di esistere.
Raffa

Paul said...

Grazie a te, Raffa!

Coggino said...

Terrific!
See you soon Paul!

ignominia said...

divertentissimo! Mi sono permessa di postare il link sul mio Facebook's wall.
Since I can't find work I started giving English conversation lessons but I am lousy at explaining grammar (my brain does not work that way, tenses, rules, analisi grammaticale & logica - bleah!). Since inevitably I have to go over grammar rules can you recommend a simple book I can use to help me explain? Thanks

Paul said...

Thanks, Coggino! See you soon!

Hai fatto bene, Ignominia! Grazie! I find ENGLISH GRAMMAR IN USE best for everyday purposes with students. NEW FOWLER'S MODERN ENGLISH USAGE is fascinating to dip into.