Teach English in Nanhu Zhen - Wuwei Shi

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Unit 8 concludes the examination of English verb tense with the future tenses, namely future simple, future continuous, future perfect, future perfect continuous and the ?be going + infinitive? structure, as well as specific usages of present simple and present continuous, again exploring each?s forms, usage, common errors and teaching ideas. Future simple tense?s affirmative form consists of the subject followed by the modal verb ?will? and the base form of the verb, e.g. ?I will think it over and let you know?, while the negative form inserts ?not? before the verb and the question form inverts ?will? and the subject. Other modal verbs can be substituted to alter the degree of certainty, such as ?may? and ?might?. It has a large number of usages, including facts and certainties, promises or threats, predictions without present evidence, speculations, and spontaneous decisions. Future continuous tense?s affirmative form is subject + modal verb ?will? + ?be??s base form + the present participle of the main verb, e.g. ?They?ll be flying high as a kite up there alone?, with the negative and question forms changing following the regular patterns. It may be used to express things in progress at a particular future point, to guess possible currently occurring actions, to make polite enquiries to others? future plans, or refer to future fixed events. Future perfect tense forms its affirmative as the subject + ?will have? + past participle of the main verb, e.g. ?They will have completed the equation by the end of the hour?, while the negative form adds ?not? between the auxiliary verbs and yes/no questions move the subject between them. It expresses an action being completed by a certain time in the future, normally using an adverbial expression such as ?by/before/when ?? to indicate the time of completion. Future perfect continuous tense combines the perfect and continuous tenses, with the affirmative form as subject + ?will have? + the past participle of ?be? + the present participle of the main verb, e.g. ?The tomatoes will have been ripening for weeks.? The negative and yes/no question forms follow the same rules as future perfect. This tense is used to express how long something will have continued by a certain time, often using adverbial expressions beginning with ?by?, e.g. ?By the next full moon he will have ben shapeshifting for a full year.? The ?going to? future tense consists of the present participle of ?be? (conjugated to the subject) followed ?going to? and an infinitive, e.g. ?They?ll be going to Nairobi in April.? Care should be taken not to confuse this structure with the present continuous tense. It is used to express intentions, predictions made on present evidence, or plans made before speaking. While technically present tenses, present simple and present continuous have applications within the expression of future as well, almost always followed by time words in these situations. Future simple can be used with timetable and schedules, or to suggest either a more formal situation or an impersonal tone. Present continuous can express definite arrangements, or decisions/plans without a set time (no time words added here). This unit was well organized and provided valuable insights to the past tenses and their teaching methods. I gained a better understanding of the different nuances of meanings associated with the various tenses and feel better equipped to explain them to students. One point with which I had reservations was the classification of forms 5 through 7 as future tenses. While these structures are used to express future time under certain circumstances, these usages are semantical rather than strictly syntactical, and under most recognized English grammar classification systems do not constitute proper future tenses. To teach them as such is thus incorrect and potentially confusing. However, as frequently used means of conveying the meaning of a future time, they should also be taught to the English student, and therefore do merit inclusion in this unit.