Talk:Continuous and progressive aspects

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Continuous vs. Progressive[edit]

This article speaks as though continuous and progressive aspects are the same. However, there is a distinction between the two. One language that makes this distinction in Cantonese. Take the following example... suppose you ask your friend to help you, but he's in the middle of doing something, he can respond two ways:

  1. (I) (do) (PROG) (thing) (.) = I'm doing something. [progressive]
  2. (I) (do) (CONT) (thing) (.) = I'm doing something. [continuous]

Although both responses translate to the same English sentence, there is a difference in meaning. The first response indicates that the action is in progress, and that your friend cannot stop what he's doing to help you. The second response merely indicates the state of the action that is continuing, but does not imply that your friend cannot stop to help you.

This is the difference between progressive and continuous aspects. The progressive aspect is a dynamic description indicating the ongoing action of the verb while the continuous aspect is a static description of the state of the action. Most languages don't distinguish between continuous and progressive and thus treat them the same, however, there are languages, like Cantonese, that do. I propose we split this article into both continuous and progressive aspects. What do people think? —Umofomia 06:20, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

We should definitely add that information to this article — and edit this article to remove any implication that the continuous and the progressive are the same in all languages — but I don't think there should be two separate articles that give the exact same information for several languages and then differ in their discussion of Cantonese. (Or do you have something else in mind?) Ruakh 12:45, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Okay, we'll keep them together. I'll add this information to the article when I get all the source information compiled together (this weekend most likely). Would you mind if I move the article to Progressive aspect and then state that continuous aspect is a subset of it (at least according to one source, a sentence in the progressive aspect can convey continuous aspect as well)? If we are to do the move though, we'll most likely need to find an admin to do so in order to maintain the page history. —Umofomia 09:12, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
I look forward to your additions. :-)
Re: moving to Progressive aspect: I don't know enough about this to have an opinion one way or the other. If you think that's the more appropriate title, then by all means, go for it. (You don't even need an admin to do the move; the software will let you do it yourself, since Progressive aspect has no history before it became a redirect to Continuous aspect. And there's no Talk:Progressive aspect, so there's nothing to worry about there.)
Ruakh 12:50, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Re: moving to Progressive aspect, don't. Some consider progressive a subtype of continous, some consider both a subtype of durative and one a subtype of the other, some consider both a subtype of durative and the two of them not being subtypes of eachother. Better to keep them separate and link between them. -- Kaleissin 15:33, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Hmm... I did do a search on the web, and I have indeed found articles that give the conflicting subtype hierarchies (unfortunately none of them really explain the reasoning for putting one as the subtype of the other). Are you suggesting that we split continuous and progressive into separate articles? If not, then how do you propose we solve this? Here are the issues I see with either decision:
Split:
  • Many examples in languages can indicate both continuous or progressive aspects. We would then be introducing redundant material in both articles.
Keep together:
  • There is conflicting information about which aspect is a subtype of the other. To maintain NPOV, we don't want to favor one aspect over another in the title. In this case, should we perhaps name the article "Continuous and progressive aspects"?
Currently I am leaning towards keeping them together. That way we might also be able to explain the conflicting POVs in the article. What do you think? —Umofomia 17:53, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
I haven't heard any objection for a while, so I'm going to do a page move to Continuous and progressive aspects, and then add the information about the two in the one article. —Umofomia 04:11, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
I did the move and inserted preliminary text briefly describing the differences. I'll add the rest later (with references) when I get more time. —Umofomia 07:00, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
The rest has been added. —Umofomia 09:06, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

The article contains this sentence: "In order to emphasize the progressive aspect rather than the continuous, 喺度 (literally meaning "at here") can be used in front of the verb:" which appears to have reversed the order of progressive and continuous above.208.84.140.10 (talk) 21:07, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

"at" construction[edit]

While writing my additions for Chinese progressive, I couldn't help but notice that the sections for German and Jèrriais use the preposition "at" to indicate progressive aspect, similar to the way Chinese can as well (using 喺度 in Cantonese and 正在 in Mandarin). I wonder if there's some generalized reason for this. I don't know where to look for such information, but it seems like an interesting thing to look into. —Umofomia 08:08, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Well, I cannot say for Chinese, but for German and Dutch (using 'aan' also translated as 'at'), 'at' is a bit of a lousy translation, but I think the best one can do. German 'an' and Dutch 'aan' have a variety of meanings, one being 'at' ('aan de tafel', 'at the table'), but also a number of others. There's not one translation into English. Jalwikip 20:23, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Well, all those prepositions are quite basic and have very generic translations, so the distinction in use between at and an/aan is not really substantial, especially seeing that at least German also uses bei (which can often be translated as at) and earlier forms of English used on, which is the English cognate of an/aan (I am on reading turned into I am a-reading, which is now archaic or dialectal, and was further simplified into I am reading – I wonder why the article has so little to say on the history of the construction). Or just compare the Romance prepositions; the differences are fairly immaterial.
It's a fact well-known from typology that progressive aspects are typically expressed by constructions combining a locative expression of the type is=at/on/by/in with a verbal noun expressing imperfective aspect, just as perfects are typically expressed by constructions combining a possessive construction with a verbal adjective expressing perfective aspect and a noun (the possessum in the possessive construction, and the semantic patient, while the semantic agent appears in the role of the possessor). The first construction frequently develops into an antipassive, which exhibits accusative alignment, while the second construction frequently develops into an ergative construction if the possessive construction is of the type $POSSESSUM is=at $POSSESSOR. This seems to explain why cross-linguistically, a type of split ergativity featuring accusative alignment in the present tense (or imperfective aspect) but ergative alignment in the past tense (or perfective aspect) is quite common.
Presumably, a cognitive universal lurks here: A V:PROG O is conceptualised as A is=near/inside V[noun/imperfective] with=regard=to/in=the=direction=of O, while A V:PERF O is conceptualised as A is=in=possession=of V[adjective/perfective] O, which can be expressed either as A has V[adj/perf] O or as V[adj/perf] O is=near A. For example: She is on/at the reading with respect to a book -> She is reading a book, but She has a written letter (in her hands) -> She has written a letter, which is also what has happened in Vulgar Latin: habet litteram scriptam became ha scritto una lettera, but illam habet scriptam still preserves the former agreement with the female gender of littera > lettera in Modern Italian: l'ha scritta. (The perfect construction can originally have an inferential or evidential connotation, especially the ergative variety, for the way it is constructed. Also compare the German quasi-ergative construction Mir ist der Fingernagel abgebrochen which is used to express mishaps befalling people; just google "gestern ist mir der/die/das/ein/eine" to find more examples.) It's conceivable that languages with serial verbs would express it like this: she (be=at) read look book ("she is reading, looking at the book") and she hold write letter ("she holds a written letter", "she holds a letter which she wrote"), but I have to admit I'm not very familiar with such languages. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 14:21, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Dutch progressive[edit]

I removed "The continuous is not used very often in Dutch" at the start of the section about the Dutch progressive. It is, in colloquial speech, extremely common, common enough for my 2 year old daughter to have mastered it perfectly. I've also expanded it a bit, as there are more methods than were listed. I also removed the Rick Harrison link, as it is dead, and added a link to a PDF describing the progressives in various Germanic languages Jalwikip 20:34, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

I removed the later addition of "Using a strange position is found comedic: Hij loopt te koken (litt. He walks to cook).". It does not add any information on the formation of the progressive, it just comments on some unusual use, which I think is inappropriate here (not to mention that it is not used for 'comedic' effect, and only with the verb 'lopen' (not just any 'position'). Jalwikip (talk) 15:23, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Origin of English progressive[edit]

The article currently claims that the English progressive originated in the Insular Celtic languages, linking to an external source which states that English is the only Germanic language with a progressive aspect. Yet in the same article we learn that:

  1. There is a progressive in some German dialects.
  2. There is a progressive in Dutch.

Sounds dubious to me. FilipeS 21:26, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

My understanding (which may be wrong) is that the progressives in German and Dutch are non-standard, relatively new, and formed differently from the English progressive, which is formed the same way that Celtic progressives were. That said, not all linguists agree that we took our progressive from Celtic languages; some think they're an English innovation. (I don't think any think English inherited it wholesale from Anglo-Saxon; that would be odd, as recorded Anglo-Saxon didn't have a progressive, and used a construct identical to Modern English's progressive with a slightly different sense.) —RuakhTALK 21:53, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

For what it is worth, this whole argument seems highly dubious to me (not that I have truly studied the etymology of these constructs). The progressive/continuous in Spanish and Portuguese is formed almost exactly the same as in English and used in much the same way (although the Spanish use is more restricted). This construct has been part of these languages for centuries. It seems unlikely that these similarities are a co-incidence. Do we then argue that the constructs went from English to Spanish and Portuguese? Preposterous. These constructs have been in all of these languages for centuries. English only had major world significance beginning in the 19th century and, even at that, would not have caused Spanish to adopt a whole new grammatical construct. One could argue that all picked up the construct from the Celts but that seems a stretch since the Celtic influence in Iberia has not been strong for millennia. The most plausible explanation seems to me (not that I have anything to back this up) that there was a progressive construct of this type in Latin slang that became popular in later Spanish/Portuguese and perhaps Norman French which then influenced English. Presumably that construct died out in the francophone world. The original construct may have in fact been Celtic in origin but, again, the languages seem too similar in this aspect for this Celtic influence to have been independent.

Just an opinion.

How serious are these theories of the etymologies?

--Mcorazao 19:24, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

P.S. Taking a closer look at the text it mentions an English-like progressive aspect in the Jèrriais language which is a dialect of Norman French. This would seem to support my hypothesis (although obviously there are other plausible explanations as well). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mcorazao (talkcontribs) 19:30, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

I think the most likely theory is that it's fairly natural for a language to have a progressive construct, be it one like English's and Spanish's ("be" + participle) or one like Jersey-French's and dialectic German's ("be at" + infinitive), and it's something that can fairly easily develop natively or be borrowed from a neighboring language. Given that, it's easy to suppose that Insular Celtic, Breton, and Celtiberian groups all had progressives that were adapted fairly naturally into English, Jersey-French, and Spanish, respectively. (Dunno about dialectic German.) It's also easy to suppose a host of other possible permutations. This is why we have to rely on external sources. —RuakhTALK 19:44, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

If the progressive had originated from Celtic influence, it should have appeared early on in the Middle Ages, while traces of Celtic culture were still present in western Europe, the fall of the Empire allowed for a modest revival of local traditions in former Roman provinces, and the Celtic cultures of Ireland, Wales and Scotland were thriving, even influential in the continent. Later, with the advance of the English conquest, the latter lost much of their strength and prestige. Yet the progressive is completely absent from early English and from early Romance (even today, French has no progressive). The earliest traces of a progressive in both language groups, from what I remember reading, are from the very late Middle Ages. The progressive seems to be a western European, Renaissance invention!

I know, original research and all that. I won't speculate on which group, if any (Iberian or English), developed the progressive first, or on whether one borrowed it from the other. Incidentally, Italian has a progressive of sorts, too. FilipeS 21:54, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

I think that sentence should be removed, as Icelandic also has a progressive and is Germanic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icelandic_grammar#Tenses.

Bad argument – the Norsemen colonising Iceland are well-known to have had Celtic slaves from Scotland and Ireland, who would have been Gaelic-speaking (more specifically, Old/Middle-Irish-speaking).
For the whole problem, see Brittonicisms in English and especially the book The Celtic Roots of English, which is cited there. Keep in mind that Modern Standard English is of Midland origins and influenced by a northern dialectal type, and British Celtic was spoken in Northern England until at least the 12th/13th centuries (see Cumbric language). Northern dialect forms were frequently more "advanced" grammatically, but are suspected to have been suppressed as "improper" in written Middle English (compare the cited Language Log entry), just as distinctive dialectal forms have been avoided in Modern Standard English for centuries, so it's quite possible that typically Celtic constructions and patterns filtered in through North British/Cumbric, Welsh and Cornish into local dialects but appeared in written English only after a lag of several centuries for the innovativeness of these constructions, which would have likely struck a contemporary writer as "bad", British-Celtic-tinged English. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 13:20, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Progressive aspect in Spanish[edit]

I am not an expert, so I write this in the talk page, but it seems to me that Spanish has a progressive aspect in "ir + gerund", as in "los participantes iban llegando a lo largo del día" or "me voy poniendo viejo". Compromiso (talk) 22:39, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Well, it's not like that. Although we use a kind of continuous tense (estar + gerund), in Spanish we don't really have any progressive or continuous tense. The gerund in Spanish is for expressing actions which are done simultaneously: camino leyendo (I walk and read at the same time); como hablando (I eat and speak at the same time).--Le K-li (talk) 21:23, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
PS: I have to make a correction: me voy poniendo viejo is wrong; the correct sentence would be me estoy volviendo viejo.
ah, not wrong, simply idiomatic (my first example was andaluz, my second argentinian):

"El tiempo pasa Nos vamos poniendo viejos El amor no lo reflejo como ayer En cada conversacion Cada beso, cada abrazo Se impone siempre un pedazo de Temor "

and i thouhgt that estar+gerund might be continuous, while ir+gerund (though only used in restricted contexts) might be progressive. i don´t see that "iban llegando" could be the same kind of construction as "como hablando", for while it is difficult to eat and to talk at the same time, it is certainly impossible to go and to come simultaneously! Compromiso (talk) 00:54, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I think you're right! But, as I said, we don't actually have any progressive nor continuous tense in Spanish as you have in English. Those expressions are more like idiomatic. At least, that's what I've been told at school!!!--Le K-li (talk) 14:11, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
PS:It's not that difficult to eat and speak simultaneously. Have you ever tried??? (:-P) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Le K-li (talkcontribs) 23:09, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

What's the difference[edit]

What is the difference between "progressive" and "continuous", anyway? The article is not very clear. FilipeS (talk) 23:13, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

In English, apparently nothing of consequence. It would be better if just one term was standardized for English. The Cantonese example on this talk page shows differing constructions to say "doing" something generally (continuous) versus doing something in a virtually uninterruptable way (progressive) though I don't understand how the word "progressive" must mean "uninterruptably ongoing". I suppose I am complaining that it is a badly named term. 207.189.230.42 (talk) 09:41, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Continuous is used to refer to both[edit]

"Unless otherwise indicated, the following languages treat continuous and progressive aspects the same, in which case the term continuous is used to refer to both." Does it mean "... continuous is used to refer to both in this article."? It's not the case in general. JIMp talk·cont 06:19, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Continuous and progressive aspects[edit]

As far as I can tell from the Chinese examples, there are different forms to signal Cont. and Prog. This is not the case in English. There is clearly a difference between 'I am studying Chemistry at Lancaster' and 'Please go away, I'm studying', but what they both have in common is that they are not complete, and essentially that's all that matters. Pamour (talk) 11:51, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

Merge Long tense[edit]

Long tense just seems to be another name for the English continuous form. On the other hand, the verb in the example "He goes to Germany twice a year" is not marked for a continuous aspect. --ἀνυπόδητος (talk) 16:15, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

the be + ing form instead of "continuous and progressive aspect".[edit]

Rémi Lannes (talk) 17:51, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

In grammar,"progressive" means that an action is (being) considered in its course of unfolding : something is in progress (progressive) and is not completly over or finished. In other words, you're not totally done with it or through with it. As a result, you can say that "progressive" is actually synonymous with "continuous" since the latter means that the action is taken, seen or considered in its continuity ( = something is going on or something has been going on as in "It's been raining for three days". Now, "progressive" and "continuous" both involve the imperfective aspect.What does "imperfective" mean in grammar? Well, I found this definition:

(Linguistics / Grammar) denoting an aspect of the verb in some languages, including English, used to indicate that the action is in progress without regard to its completion >>. Compare perfective Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003.

As a matter of fact, you can understand that "imperfective" means "in progress". So, unless I'm mistaken, "progressive", "continuous" and "imperfective" means exactly the same : something is being done at the moment and has therefore not been completed yet. But unlike the Collins English Dictionary states, "imperfective" logically implies that the action is in progress with regard to its completion, as well as with regard to its beginning. If you say "It's raining", you're saying that you're somewhere in the course of "raining", because the action has begun and has not stopped (yet / at the moment).

I should like to remind that "perfect" comes from the Latin "perfectus" (completed,accomplished, achieved, exquisite, excellent); PER (through) + FECTUS (done) / "parfait" in French, knowing that FAIT (done / made) is the past participle of the verb FAIRE (do / make). ASPECT literally means "way of viewing things," from L. aspectus "seeing, looking, appearance," from pp. of aspicere "to look at," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + specere "to look" (see scope (n.1)). Meaning "the look one wears, the appearance of things" attested by early 15c.

However, I don't think that the "imperfective / progressive / continuous" aspect delivers the key to understanding the true meaning to the "be + ing" form. In "It's been raining for three days", isn't it paradoxical / absurd to speak of a "present perfect progessive"? Something that would be finished and still be going on at the same time? Moreover, you can be in you're house talking with a friend, and then you want to go out, and once you're out you can say "Look, it's been raining!", although it has stopped raining. Perfective or progessive? It makes no sense.

On top of that, grammarians usually make a distinction between the "present progressive" (I'm reading a magazine) and the "present simple = present of habit" (I read a lot of books). But what do you make of examples such as "He's hungry / He's tall / He's stupid / He's being stupid / He's always nagging at his sister"?. Is it a habit to be hungry? Is it a habit to be tall? Isn't it a habit in "He's always nagging at his sister"? Obviously, the explanation doesn't rely on the opposition imperfective (it's not a habit) / perfective (it's a habit). Does habit make perfect or does it mislead us?

What would be the difference between "Here comes the bus?" and "The bus is coming"?

Well, you need a corpus of examples which indicate in which context they've been produced. It's also better to deal with real examples uttered by native speakers in a natural linguistic environment than to make up examples. I'm not an English native speaker because I'm French, but I suspect you'd say "The bus is coming" when you've been waiting for it, and talking about it, so you're already expecting its arrival, while you'd say "Here comes the bus" to interrupt someone so as to warn or inform all of a sudden.

For instance, there's a movie called "The bus is coming", directed by Wendell James 1971. Its title is said to be metaphoric, << referring to "the bus of hope" eventually coming to relieve the oppressed black residents of the ghetto >> (Separate Cinema: Blaxploitation www.separatecinema.com/exhibits_blaxploitation). The adverb "eventually" makes it explicit : the bus is coming / the bus we've been waiting for is eventually coming. The adverb "eventually" implies that you've already been talking about it. It's a marker of contextual / consensual cohesion. It also implies a commentary of appreciation meaning "at last! what a relief!".

Another one:

We like, we like to party We like to party

I've got something to tell ya I've got news for you Gonna put some wheels in motion Get ready 'cause we're coming through Hey now, hey now, here's what I say now Happiness is just around the corner Hey now, hey now, here's what I say now We'll be there for you

The Vengabus is coming And everybody's jumping (The Venga bus is coming, the Venga Boys)

In this example, "the bus is coming" also involves a conclusive commentary as the result of the previous stanza. We're dealing with shared knowledge : you kwew it'd be coming!If you could speak of continuity, it would be that of contextual continuity. In examples such as "Here comes the bus" or "Here comes the sun!", you'd be breaking with the previous context.

If you think about it, you'll see that there are also concluding / conclusive commentaries of appreciation in examples such as "He's always nagging at his sister" or "He's being stupid", as opposed to neutral / factual information in "It rains a lot in Amazonia" or "He's stupid", regardless of the perfective / imperfective and habit / non-habit theories. It's not necessarily a pejorative commentary, such as in "A child is always learning".

You might also think of the difference between "How do you do?" (present simple) and "How are you doing?" (BE + ING present):

You'd say "How do you do" as a more formal way of saying "Nice to meet you!", that is the first time that you meet someone. You'd be more inclined to say "How are you doing?" when you already know someone or at least in a familiar / more friendly way (as if you'd met before), trying to surf on linguistic / phatic congruence. Note that you could say "Nice meeting you" at the end of a conversation, if it'd slipped your mind to say "Nice to meet meet you" at its beginning. The simple form makes the primary contextual link while the BE + ING form confirms that it is already in existence. Unless you're suffering from the Alzheimer disease, you'd never say "How do you do" to someone you've met before (or else you didn't pay attention).

You can also compare "What do you say?" to ask for someone's opinion and "What are you saying?" meaning " I'm sorry I didn't understand. Can you repeat?", or implying commentaries in rhetorical questions such as "Are you serious? Are you kidding me? Are you insulting me? Are you calling me a liar?" (depending on the context). It's about the same opposition for "What do you think?" (What's you're opinion?) and "What are you thinking?" (What's on your mind?). Sometimes, the latter question has the meaning of an assertive commentary (What are you thinking? You're deluding yourself!).

In my opinion, the imperfective / perfective problem is but an illusion. It's like saying that the -ING morpheme is imperfective because if you "stop doing something", you were necessarily in the course of doing it before you stopped it. Now if you say "I remember locking the door", the door has been locked and "locking" is perfective. A Frenchman would say "Je me rapelle avoir fermé la porte à clé" (Literally: I remember having locked the door), which is a form of grammatical perfect, using a past participle (fermé = closed, locked). If you say "Thank you for coming", the person you're addressing is not in the process of coming: he or she is perfectly here because they have come all the way to see you. The action is complete ("perfect" in grammar).

The -ING morpheme is not perfective or imperfective, it is just a way of implying a presupposition : if you stop doing something, you had to do it before stopping it; if you remember doing something, you necessarily did it before you can remember it (unless you suffer from hallucination).

If you say "Look, it's been raining" because the floor is wet, and there are puddles, you're commenting on a situation even though it's not raining anymore. You're judging from the existing clues you can see. Same thing if you see your kid with chocolate around his mouth or on the once white walls : You've been eating chocolate! (Even though your kid isn't eating anymore).

Now, this BE + ING form is not incompatible with an imperfective situation. If you say, "Look, it's raining!", you are indeed drawing attention to something that is in course, but it's just a possible effect of a presupposition : it has necessarily stated raining in "Look, it's raining", just like it was necessarily raining in "It stopped raining" or "It kept (on) raining for hours" (if you keep doing something, you logically have to be already doing it before you keep on doing it; you can't tell someone "Keep on dancing!" if that person is not already dancing. The existence of a "going-on" is implied.

Note that if you say "We're having a party", the party may not be actually taking place at the moment of speech : it is not necessarily in progress. Here's an example in context:

EVENTS, GOOD NEWS We’re Having a Party! By Merrill Knox on June 18, 2012 11:42 AM It’s Monday morning, which means you may be searching for something to look forward to this week. Good news: TVSpy and TVNewser have got you covered. We’re throwing a party tomorrow night in New York City, and we’d love to see you there. Here are the details:

TVSpy & TVNewser Party Tuesday, June 19 sideBar 118 E 15th St (on Irving Place, a block from Union Square) 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

If you’ve been to one of our parties before, you know that they’re a great way to mingle with your fellow television news professionals. So RSVP here, and we’ll see you tomorrow night.

Here, "We're having a party!" is the same as "We're throwing a party tomorrow night", which means that the party has objectively not even begun yet. However, the utterance comments or justifies what's just been written:"Good news: TVSpy and TVNewser have got you covered". There is a presupposition of existence, there' a party planned for tomorrow. The party has not begun but the plan is there.

In my opinion, BE has something to do with existence, and -ING with presupposition. Compare:

The president is to give congress a state of the union message The president is giving congress a state of the union message

Which Federal employee is the president likely to have the most influence over? Which Federal employee is the president having the most influence over?

Remember to lock the door! Don't forget to lock the door! I remember locking the door.

I hate to interrupt you (in order to interupt someone) I hate interrupting you (after interrupting) Sorry for interrupting you.

I like dancing. I would like to dance. I like to get my salsa kick. I like to see the dentist twice a year (I find it wise)

Socrates: "To be is to do; to do is to be."[edit]

I will take the word of the article that some languages posit a stark difference between a state (continuous) and an action (progressive) that does not exist in English. Nor in Greek, if Socrates is to be believed.

However, I think it needs more explanation in the introduction than this. I had to read the following sentence several times to grasp the point.

'In Chinese, for example, progressive aspect denotes a current action, as in "he is getting dressed", while continuous aspect denotes a current state, as in "he is wearing fine clothes".'

I am also sure that people who are not native speakers of English and an obvious readership for such an article, would struggle with it even more than I did.

Grant | Talk 04:43, 3 September 2014 (UTC)