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Christian Pulisic is moving from Germany to London to play for Chelsea.

Understanding Grammar: Continuous forms

Understanding Grammar: Continuous forms

In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Jack invites RIch to his new house and they talk about some of the challenges you face when you move. The language focus is on continuous forms and how we use them to talk about things that happen again and again as well as over a temporary period of time. Your task this week is to tell us about a time you moved house or school or changed jobs. Don't forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have a new football phrase for you to guess. Enjoy!

Transcript

If the listening was a bit difficult, you can listen again and read the transcript at the same time.
Read the transcript and listen at the same time.

Opening (Continuous forms) 

Moving house:

Rich: So, this is your new place then. Very nice. Light and spacious and quiet. Oh hold on! What’s that noise?

Jack: It’s the neighbours. They’re playing their music. Again.

Rich: It’s a bit loud. I suppose it’s not that bad when it’s the middle of the morning.

Jack: That wouldn’t be so bad but they’re playing it at all times of the day. They turn it on in the morning, it’s playing in the afternoon and they're playing it at night, too.

Rich: Is it always this bad - heavy metal! I wouldn’t mind it if it was a bit of jazz or the Beatles or something.

Jack: You would. I promise you. It’s even playing when they go out. They’ve got two dogs and when they go out they leave the music on for them.

Rich: Dogs as well!

Jack: Yeah, when the music stops, they start barking.

Rich: So when the music isn’t playing the dogs are barking. Are they big dogs?

Jack: I went round the other day because they were playing their music even louder than normal. It had been playing for hours and it was late.

Rich: Did they turn it off? Maybe they turned it down a little?

Jack: These two massive dogs came running to the door. They were barking like crazy. Nobody answered. I came back home and put a pillow over my head.

Rich: How long is your contract on this place?

Jack: A year!

Rich: Oh dear.

Welcome

Rich: Hello my name’s Rich

Jack: and I’m Jack

Rich: and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast

Jack: Where we talk about football and help you with your English.

Rich: We recommend that you listen to this podcast on the Premier Skills English website because that is where we have the transcript, language examples, activities, quizzes and a discussion page to help you understand everything we talk about.

Jack: However,  if you’re listening on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, you could leave your answers in the review section. We do read all the reviews and would love to hear from you. What’s happening this week, Rich?

Rich: In this week’s podcast, we’re going to talk about the stresses and problems people face when they are moving home. 

Jack: And the main language focus is on how we use continuous forms to talk about things that happen repeatedly and/or over a period of time.

Rich: And we’ll be asking you about the biggest move you have ever made. You could talk about the biggest move in your career or education or a time when you moved house. 

Jack: Before all that though, let’s look at last week’s football phrase.

Football Phrase 1

Rich: Last week’s football phrase was to see red. This phrase in a general context means to get angry. It was, of course, connected to last week’s podcast which was all about arguments.

Jack: The phrase has a different more obvious meaning in football. It’s usually used in the past tense when describing a football match. For example, a reporter might say that a player saw red in the second half. Here to see red means to receive a red card. The player literally saw red.  

Rich: Well done if you got it right! At the end of this podcast, we will have another football phrase for you to guess.

Big Moves

Jack: You probably know that the January Transfer Window is open at the moment. This is the one time of the year during the season that footballers can move clubs.

Rich: Yes, the American teenager, Christian Pulisic has already signed for Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund in Germany and Brahim Diaz has gone to Real Madrid in Spain from Manchester City.

Jack: These are big changes in a player’s career and personal life especially if you’re moving to another country as a teenager. These are not only changes teenage footballers face; they are things that everyone has to face sometimes.

Rich: In the opening section, you heard Jack talking about his new home and the problems he is having with his neighbours. 

Jack:  In this week’s podcast, we’re not only talking about moving home but we’re also focussing on continuous forms. 

Rich: Your first task today is to listen to part of that opening section again.

Jack: We want you to listen carefully and count how many examples of continuous forms you hear.  

Rich: Remember that continuous forms are created with the verb to be plus verb and -ing. 

Jack: The first example you will hear is ‘they’re playing’. We will speak quite slowly this time. Is everyone ready?

...

Jack: That wouldn’t be so bad but they’re playing it at all times of the day. They turn it on in the morning, it’s playing in the afternoon and they're playing it at night, too.

Rich: Is it always this bad - heavy metal! I wouldn’t mind it if it was a bit of jazz or the Beatles or something. I like playing music loud sometimes.

Jack: You would mind this. I promise you. It’s even playing when they go out. They’ve got two dogs and when they go out they leave the music on for them.

Rich: Dogs as well!

Jack: Yeah, when the music stops, they start barking.

Rich: So when the music isn’t playing the dogs are barking. Are they big dogs?

Jack: I went round the other day because they were playing their music even louder than normal. It had been playing for hours and it was late.

Rich: Did they turn it off? Maybe they turned it down a little?

Jack: These two massive dogs came running to the door. They were barking like crazy. Nobody answered. I came back home and put a pillow over my head.

...

Rich: If you think that there were nine examples of continuous tenses you are correct. Well done!

Jack: Remember that continuous tenses always use the verb to be. If you want to check your answers, look at the transcript on the Premier Skills English Podcast Page. We have highlighted the correct answers in red.

Rich: We can use the continuous form in a number of different ways.  In the next roleplay, you are going to hear different continuous forms being used. After the roleplay, we will discuss how and why they were used.

Jack: In the roleplay, I am going to invite Rich to my new house. We want you to answer two questions while you are listening.

Rich: Question one: What does Jack like about his new house? And question two: What do I like about Jack’s new house?

...

Jack: You’re here early. I was just watching the football.

Rich: British punctuality. What’s the score?

Jack: It’s just finished. 1-0 to United. What’s this?

Rich: It’s a housewarming gift. 

Jack: Thanks very much. I’ll enjoy cracking that open a bit later.

Rich: Let’s have a look round your new place then. How long have you been living here now?

Jack: It’s only been a few days but it’s much better than renting.

Rich: I ’m renting and I prefer it to be honest. I can get the landlord to do everything. 

Jack: I like painting and decorating. I’m looking forward to getting an extension done, too. I’m going to try to do it myself. It’ll look great when it’s finished.

Rich: Oh, looks like this wall has a bit of damp.

Jack: It just needs painting. That’s all. 

Rich: What’s that noise? Looks like you’ve got a problem here. There’s water dripping all over the place. 

Jack: The roof’s leaking. It’s nothing to worry about. Someone’s coming round tomorrow to take a look at it.

Rich: That’ll cost you! It might cost you a bit more. It looks like the roof is falling down!

Jack: It’s just sagging a bit. It’ll be OK. You’re always talking about the negatives. Anything that you like?

Rich: Sorry, I’m being a bit mean about your new place. 

Jack: You are being a bit negative, yes. 

Ring, ring

Jack: Hold on let me answer that. Hello ... Yes ... No, he won’t be staying long! See you later. 

Language Focus

Rich: Before we look at some examples from the roleplay, let’s give you the answers to those two comprehension questions we gave you.

Jack: The first question was what do I like about my house. Well, I was quite happy with everything about my house, especially the idea of getting an extension which is when you build an additional part onto a house.

Rich: The second question was what did I like about the house. Well, nothing really so that’s why Jack wanted me to leave. I was being a bit too negative.

Jack: Right, let’s look at how we used continuous forms in that roleplay.

Rich: A good thing to remember is that we can use continuous forms in a number of different tenses. Listen to these sentences we used in the roleplay and listen for the verb to be.

Jack: I’m being a bit mean. You are being a bit negative. The roof is leaking. I was watching the football. How long have you been living here? He won’t be staying long.

Rich: So, there you have examples of verbs in continuous forms with the verb to be in present, past, perfect and future forms. Let’s look at some of the sentences in more detail and look at how they are used.

Jack: We can use continuous forms to talk about things that happen again and again. In the roleplay, I said: You’re always talking about the negatives.

Rich: We often use the present continuous to talk about something that is repeated a lot and we often use the word always for extra emphasis.

Jack: Let’s hear some similar examples of this:

Rich: He’s always talking about himself. It’s so boring!

Jack: She’s always going on about her job. I wish we could talk about something else.

Rich: She’s always smiling, telling jokes and laughing. I think I’m falling in love.

Jack: Falling in love is a present tense experience!

Rich: That’s a terrible joke. We can also use continuous forms to describe a process that is changing or developing. I think falling in love has this meaning. 

...

Jack: We can also use the present continuous to describe something that is temporary. 
Rich: Let’s look at some other examples when we use the present continuous with a temporary, not permanent, meaning.

Jack: In the roleplay, Rich said; I’m renting and I prefer it to be honest.

Rich: We often use the present continuous to mean that something might change soon. It’s not permanent. When we buy a house we don’t usually use the present continuous. We say I own a house or I’ve bought a house.

Jack: But we might say that we’re paying a mortgage or a loan but again the idea is temporary it will finish at some point. Let’s look at some more examples.

Rich: He’s working as a waiter until he can find a job in IT.

Jack: She’s lived in loads of different places. She’s living in Thailand right now.

Rich: She’s studying law at university. She’s hoping to become a lawyer.

Jack: That last sentence is another different way to use the present continuous. We can use hope in the present continuous form to talk about the future. You can use either the present simple or the present continuous here. She hopes to become a lawyer. She’s hoping to become a lawyer.

Rich: Take a look at the activities on the Premier Skills English website because we have more examples of how continuous forms are used.

Task

Rich: This week’s task is to tell us about the biggest move you have ever been through. This can be a move involving distance such as moving house, moving city or moving country.

Jack: Or it could be a move involving your career or education. It could be moving job or moving to a different school or a new university.

Rich: There are a few questions for you to answer at the bottom of the podcast page on the website. These will help you write your answers.

Jack:  Also, we would like you to include as many examples of continuous forms as you can. We’ll check that you are using them correctly.

Football Phrase 2

Rich: The final section this week is this week’s football phrase. Have you got one Jack?

Jack: I have and if you have been listening very carefully it’s a phrase that we’ve already used in this week’s podcast. The phrase is ******** ******It’s the phrase we use to describe the period of time when football clubs can buy and sell players. The phrase has two words and the second are the things that are built into your house made of glass.

Rich: That’s an easy one this week. Let’s see how many people can get it right! If you know the answer, write your answer in the comments section at the bottom of the page. We will announce your name in next week’s podcast if you get the right answer.

Jack: Before we finish a big well done to Elghoul from Algeria, Rafael Robson from Brazil and Acicala from Spain. All of you did last week’s language task very well. 

Rich: Yes, all of you used the language of arguments we introduced last week and added the words and phrases to a new dialogue. Good job!

Jack: Right, that’s all we have time for this week. Bye for now and enjoy your football!

Vocabulary

How much did you understand?

In the podcast, Rich and Jack used some words and phrases that might be new for you. Do you know the words in bold?

So, this is your new place then. Very nice. Light and spacious and quiet.

British punctuality. What’s the score?

 It’s a housewarming gift.

There’s water dripping all over the place. 

The roof’s leaking. It’s nothing to worry about. Someone’s coming round tomorrow to take a look at it.

There were a few more tricky words and phrases in the podcast. Do you know what they all mean? Try the activity below, then, listen to the podcast again to hear how we used the words. This can really help your understanding.

Activity 1

Activity 1: In this activity, try to match the words and phrases to their definitions. All of the words were in this week's podcast.
Can you match the words to the definitions?

Jack shows RIch around his new house in this podcast.

Language

Continuous Forms

In this podcast, the language focus was on continuous forms. The continuous form is used in a number of different forms or tenses but always follows the same pattern: the verb 'to be' + verb + '_ing'. Take a look at these sentences from the podcast:

I’m being a bit mean.

You are being a bit negative.

The roof is leaking.

I was watching the football.

How long have you been living here?

He won’t be staying long.

Do you understand why these patterns are being used? If you're not sure, ask us in the comments section at the bottom of the page. In the next few sections, we're going to focus on some specific examples. 

Rich said if Jack's neighbours HAD BEEN PLAYING The Beatles it wouldn't have been so bad.

Language

Things that happen again and again

We can use continuous forms to talk about things that happen again and again or repeatedly. In the roleplay, Jack said:

You’re always talking about the negatives.

When Jack used this sentence he was telling Rich that he is often negative about things. We use the present continuous to do this and we often add the word always for extra emphasis. Here are some more examples:

He’s always talking about himself. It’s so boring!

She’s always going on about her job. I wish we could talk about something else.

She’s always smiling, telling jokes and laughing. I think I’m falling in love.

Rich said Jack's new house IS FALLING APART but Jack thinks it just needs a little work.

Something that is temporary

We use continuous forms to describe something that is temporary (not permanent). Sometimes this obvious:

She’s working as a waiter until she can find a job in IT.

In this example, the temporary nature of the work as a waiter is obvious because she would like to change this job for a role in IT.  Sometimes it's less obvious:

She’s lived in loads of different places. She’s living in Thailand right now.

In this example, she has lived in lots of countries and by using the present continuous it sounds like she will live in more countries in the future. Therefore it's temporary and we can use the present continuous. However, sometimes it's not obvious at all. Look at these examples.

I'm renting and I prefer it to be honest.

I rent and I prefer it to be honest.

These two examples are very similar but the use of the present continuous in the first example means that the temporary nature of the situation is being emphasised. In the second example, it is more likely that a concrete decision has been made to rent a house rather than buy one.

Activity 2

Activity 2: In this activity, decide why the present continuous is being used.
Can you choose the correct reason?

Quiz

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Task

Jack had problems with dogs which WERE BARKING in his new place. How would you deal with this problem?

Big Moves

This week’s task is to tell us about the biggest move you have ever been through. You could tell us about:

  • Moving house
  • Moving to a different city, region or country
  • Moving school or starting university
  • Moving jobs

Tell us the biggest problems and challenges you faced when you made this move and what action you took to overcome these problems. You could tell us a short anecdote and this will also help you include examples of continuous forms.

Write your answers in the comments section at the bottom of the page and don't forget to make a guess at our football phrase.

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Comentários

ldzingirai's picture
ldzingirai
09/03/2019
ZW
1405
points

I met some problems when I moved between jobs in the early 2000s. After school,my first job was an office messenger.I was always cleaning some offices everyday and preparing food for the other stuff.After five years,I got another job where I am working as a machine operator.At first it was difficult learning basic skills in my new job.It took some months.


ldzingirai's picture
ldzingirai
09/03/2019 06:28
Zimbabwe
Chelsea
1405

I met some problems when I moved between jobs in the early 2000s. After school,my first job was an office messenger.I was always cleaning some offices everyday and preparing food for the other stuff.After five years,I got another job where I am working as a machine operator.At first it was difficult learning basic skills in my new job.It took some months.

Gary7
04/02/2019
ES
109
points

The phrase of this week is ******* periods


Gary7
04/02/2019 23:06
Spain
Manchester United
109

The phrase of this week is ******* periods

Alaashubbar's picture
Alaashubbar
26/01/2019
IQ
7
points

The phrase of this week is ******** ******


Alaashubbar's picture
Alaashubbar
26/01/2019 16:06
Iraq
Liverpool
7

The phrase of this week is ******** ******

Rafael Robson's picture
Rafael Robson
25/01/2019
BR
265
points

I'm being a little late this week but I think the phrase is "******** ******".

Until now, I am always living in my hometown and even my university is here. But I'm hoping to be accepted in a foreign university next year for the graduate studies and these English lessons are being very important.


Rafael Robson's picture
Rafael Robson
25/01/2019 16:01
Brazil
Tottenham Hotspur
265

I'm being a little late this week but I think the phrase is "******** ******".

Until now, I am always living in my hometown and even my university is here. But I'm hoping to be accepted in a foreign university next year for the graduate studies and these English lessons are being very important.

plmert
22/01/2019
TR
31
points

******** ******


plmert
22/01/2019 16:05
Turkey
AFC Bournemouth
31

******** ******

Minter
22/01/2019
JP
6
points

The biggest move I ever made was moving to London when I was the middle twenties. At that time, mobile phones were not as popular as now. I needed to ask the landlady to lent her phone when I needed.

The football phrase is ******** ******.


Minter
22/01/2019 07:07
Japan
Manchester United
6

The biggest move I ever made was moving to London when I was the middle twenties. At that time, mobile phones were not as popular as now. I needed to ask the landlady to lent her phone when I needed.

The football phrase is ******** ******.

Rich's picture
Rich
22/01/2019
ES
374
points

Very different times these days!

Welcome to Premier Skills English, Minter!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team


Rich's picture
Rich
22/01/2019 09:12
Spain
Liverpool
374

Very different times these days!

Welcome to Premier Skills English, Minter!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team

elghoul's picture
elghoul
20/01/2019
DZ
3102
points

Moving to a different city is not usual. I have done it twice in my life. I was living in Algiers with my parents in fact when while I was reading the newspapers I noticed that a company offered a renting house for anyone who would accept an executive job in a country town. The place in fact didn't offer any chance to find facilities or occasions that a big city like Algiers have been offering me until then. I was struggling within this new emvironment for fifteen years and after that I had just moved the way back to Algiers.

football phrase, ******** ******.


elghoul's picture
elghoul
20/01/2019 12:40
Algeria
Manchester City
3102

Moving to a different city is not usual. I have done it twice in my life. I was living in Algiers with my parents in fact when while I was reading the newspapers I noticed that a company offered a renting house for anyone who would accept an executive job in a country town. The place in fact didn't offer any chance to find facilities or occasions that a big city like Algiers have been offering me until then. I was struggling within this new emvironment for fifteen years and after that I had just moved the way back to Algiers.

football phrase, ******** ******.

Jabella10
19/01/2019
NZ
7
points

The phrase of this week is ******* ******


Jabella10
19/01/2019 20:48
New Zealand
Manchester United
7

The phrase of this week is ******* ******

lakerwang
19/01/2019
CN
267
points

5 years ago, I had to leave the city where I had worked for 10 years and went to a new place which was almost a thousand kilometers far from the former place. I was bearing the separate from my family at that time. Fortunately, I found a way to spend my spare hours which was learning English. After a hard time, I have settled down here and my family are living with me now. And I have been teaching my son English.

The football phrase is "******** ******".


lakerwang
19/01/2019 16:08
China
Chelsea
267

5 years ago, I had to leave the city where I had worked for 10 years and went to a new place which was almost a thousand kilometers far from the former place. I was bearing the separate from my family at that time. Fortunately, I found a way to spend my spare hours which was learning English. After a hard time, I have settled down here and my family are living with me now. And I have been teaching my son English.

The football phrase is "******** ******".

tpbatista
18/01/2019
BR
27
points

The phrase for this week is ******** ******


tpbatista
18/01/2019 23:38
Brazil
Liverpool
27

The phrase for this week is ******** ******

Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
18/01/2019
UA
3427
points

I think that the phrase is a '******** ******'


Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
18/01/2019 13:11
Ukraine
Watford
3427

I think that the phrase is a '******** ******'

milos
18/01/2019
RS
2075
points

Fotball phrase for this week is ******** ******.


milos
18/01/2019 06:28
Serbia
Manchester United
2075

Fotball phrase for this week is ******** ******.

Leaderboard

Top Scorers
RankNameScore
1kwesimanifest4725
2assemjuve3705
3aragorn19863557
4Liubomyr3427
5haydi3189
6elghoul3102
7Alex_from_Ukraine2926
8Ahmed Adam Mamado2868
9Buchiy2472
10nikosonris2453
Country ranking
RankNameScore
1Colombia64605
2Ukraine27528
3Serbia26033
4Albania20437
5Macedonia19058
6Spain18192
7Bosnia and Herzegovina16217
8Armenia13492
9Kosovo13125
10Bolivia12677
Club ranking
RankNameScore
1Manchester United116884
2Liverpool72359
3Chelsea69379
4Arsenal66268
5Manchester City34120
6Leicester City10781
7Tottenham Hotspur7723
8Newcastle United6721
9West Ham United4544
10Watford4083

Level

3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Goals

Skills: Listening

Language: Continuous forms

Task: Talk about a time you moved house or changed job