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Introducing the Progressive

Jack C. Richards
TESOL Quarterly
Vol. 15, No. 4 (Dec., 1981), pp. 391-402
DOI: 10.2307/3586480
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3586480
Page Count: 12
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Introducing the Progressive
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Abstract

Producing a sentence is a task of great complexity. Although we usually say what we want without too much difficulty, the ease with which we use sentences in conversation or writing does not reflect the mental planning and organization that goes into them. This article attempts to unravel details of one small part of the system of mental organization that goes into the production of a sentence. It focuses on the progressive, a part of the aspectual system of English. I describe here the semantic system which the progressive aspect represents in English, and discuss implications of this analysis for the teaching of the progressive to students of English as a second language.

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