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Why is this? In commentaries, the use of tenses is similar. The simple present is used for the quicker actions and events (which are finished before the sentences that describe them); the present progressive is used for longer actions and situations. There are more simple and fewer progressive tenses in a football commentary, for instance, than in a commentary on a boat race. Smith passes to Devaney, Devaney to Barnes - and Harris intercepts . . . Harris passes back to Simms, nice ball - and Simms shoots! Oxford are pulling slightly ahead of Cambridge now; they're rowing with a beautiful rhythm; Cambridge are looking a little disorganised . . ." (reference: Practical English Usage by Michael Swan) ---------------- From the texts above, what other sports are considered to have slower actions like a boat race that we can use progressive tenses for commentaries? Swimming? Running?
Aug 18, 2020 6:39 AM
Answers · 2
The sport doesn't really matter here, it's all about whether the thing you're saying is ongoing. For example, in football you could have: "Liverpool are playing better than Chelsea now; they're passing with a beautiful rhythm; Chelsea are looking a little disorganised . . ."
August 18, 2020
While I think this is a good analogy, I don't think the aim is to focus on the sports themselves. It's better to focus on the pace and/or timeframe. In a 200m running race you might have: - Johnson pulls forward - He's right on the heels of Bolt. In the same race if something is happening less instantaneously you might have: - Bolt is starting to pull away a bit now. - There is a notable gap appearing between the leaders. I hope that makes sense? Let me know if it doesn't.
August 18, 2020
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