What is an aspect when we talk about verb forms?
With verb forms the aspect refers to the way we look at the action described by the verb.
How many aspects are there?
1. The simple aspect: emphasises that the action is complete and that the events are permanent, complete, habitual or mere facts:
-Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius. (permanent / fact) > Present simple
-We went to the cinema yesterday. (complete action) > Past simple
-John wakes up at 6am every day. (habit) > Present simple
-We will go there tomorrow. (fact) > Future simple
2. The perfect aspect: emphasises that the action is completed
before another time and it's also used to show a connection between the
past and the present:
-Milly has already read that book. (some time before now) > Present perfect simple
-I've lived here all my life. (connection between the past and the present)
> Present perfect simple
-By the time you arrived they had left. (some time before then) > Past perfect
-I will have done the ironing by the time you phone me. (some time before you phone me) > future perfect
3. The continuous aspect: focuses on the action itself and its
duration. We are not interested in its result. It also indicates that
the action is temporary or in progress:
-He's living with his parents until he can find a house. (temporary) > Present continuous
-She's always playing her music loudly (repeated annoying actions) > present continuous
(Notice how we can also use the adverb "always" with the continuous aspect to indicate annoyance)
-The economy is getting better (situations in process of changing) >Present continuous
-I'm/was thinking of going home this weekend (plans) > Present or past continuous
-John was crying when I arrived. (action in progress when another thing happened) > Past continuous
-While I was studying, they were having fun (two parallel actions in progress at the same time)
> Past continuous
-I was wondering if I could borrow some money (tentative ideas to avoid being to direct with a request) > Past continuous
-The've been waiting here for an hour (to emphasise duration) > Past perfect continuous
-In 2040 I will have been living here for 50 years (to emphasise duration) > Future perfect continuous
-Everyone seems to be working at the moment (action in progress) > Infinitive in continuous
Verbs never used in the continuous aspect
What we call "state" or "stative" verbs cannot be used in continuous
tenses. They are verbs that describe personal feelings, the senses or
Nice list of stative verbs with examples.
Pay attention to those verbs in the previous list that are both stative and dynamic!
Is "I'm loving it correct grammar?