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Conjugating in the Progressive Aspect

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The progressive tenses show an ongoing action. Some grammarians call the progressive tense the progressive aspect. So let's learn the tricks of conjugating in the progressive aspect.

Once Amber and Igor learned all about the verb to be and present participles (-ing verb), they grunted the two together and developed a way to show a continuity of action. It was one thing to grunt, Igor eats and quite another to grunt, Igor is eating. By melding the verb to be with the present participle, they were then able to conjugate any verb in the six progressive tenses. All they had to do was conjugate the verb to be and then add the present participle.

 

Present Tense, Progressive Aspect

Here’s the present-progressive tense of the verb to write:

Person Singular Plural
First Person I am writing We are writing
Second Person You are writing You are writing
Third Person He-she-it is writing They are writing

 

Past Tense, Progressive Aspect

Here’s the past-progressive tense of the verb to write:

Person Singular Plural
First Person I was writing We were writing
Second Person You were writing You were writing
Third Person He-she-it was writing They were writing

 

Future Tense, Progressive Aspect

Here’s the future-progressive tense of the verb to write:

Person Singular Plural
First Person I will be writing We will be writing
Second Person You will be writing You will be writing
Third Person He-she-it will be writing They will be writing

 

Present-Perfect Tense, Progressive Aspect

Here’s the present-perfect progressive tense of the verb to write:

Person Singular Plural
First Person I have been writing We have been writing
Second Person You have been writing You have been writing
Third Person He-she-it has been writing They have been writing

 

Past-Perfect Tense, Progressive Aspect

Here’s the past-perfect progressive tense of the verb to write:

Person Singular Plural
First Person I had been writing We had been writing
Second Person You had been writing You had been writing
Third Person He-she-it had been writing They had been writing

 

Future-Perfect Tense, Progressive Aspect

Here’s the future-perfect progressive tense of the verb to write:

Person Singular Plural
First Person I will have been writing We will have been writing
Second Person You will have been writing You will have been writing
Third Person He-she-it will have been writing They will have been writing

 

Finally, we do have another set of possible conjugations: the passive voice of a transitive verb. We’ll explore a conjugation in the passive voice in the Grammar eBook Developing a Powerful Writing Style, where we discuss the passive voice in detail.

Hard Copy

You may download our entire discussion of the Parts of Speech. Simply download the Grammar eBook Understanding the Parts of Speech.

 

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