An elephant teaches the progressive

By Terry Fredrickson

A good example of verbs with duration

This video clip is extremely popular with children. Watch it once and you will see why. As you watch it, think about what is happening. How would you describe it? Why is it so natural to use present progressive verb forms?

If you have my book, Understanding English verb forms, you will remember from the chapters on the progressive, that progressive verb forms deal with actions that have duration, i.e., actions that take time. Clearly, everything a slow-moving elephant does takes time. Also, the elephant in the video is doing repeated actions - the same things over and over again and again.

Watch the elephant from start to finish. Tell what it is doing. Here are some verbs you might use: walk, get on, start, jump (or bounce), somersault (to jump into the air so your body turns over and over again). The equipment in the video is called a trampoline.

Posted by Terry Fredrickson at 03:36 PM

Showing off your own video

If you have a short video or an idea that you think would work to illustrate an English verb form, you can connect us through twitter or contact me directly at:

If you have a finished video, you can upload it to a site like Youtube so we can have a look at it. We can then embed it on a page on our site as well. Make a short lesson together with your video so users can understand the main point.

You can also point out videos that you find online that might be useful for understanding verbforms.

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