Hey there! This is TOP episode 75: Present Continuous. Irritating Habits

My name’s Ola and I am an English teacher. My goal is to help you start speaking English with confidence and get rid of speaking barriers. It’s time you started speaking English fearlessly! I’ve been there. I was unable to speak English for many reasons that now I call a language blockade. Today I teach people like you how to speak English with confidence. Go to my website for full transcripts and worksheets to each episode. Happy learning! 

Hello again, welcome back I’m glad you’re here. I’m excited because I have prepared a short episode, packed with useful examples. After this episode you will know how to talk about things which annoy you because they’ve been happening for quite a while. Ok! Let me give you details of today’s episode. 

First of all there will be a quick reminder how to form a sentence in the present continuous tense. I’ll also tell you how to pronounce ‘they are’ when it’s contracted. Then I’ll explain the situation in which you can  use present continuous not present simple with the word ‘always’. What other words can be used in such sentences apart from ‘always’. I’ll tell you the difference between the same sentence in the present simple and present continuous tense. Next I’ll change the topic and I will tell you why I don’t want passive listeners. I’ll give you two simple actionable steps you should take in order to learn daily. Two simple actionable steps to help you eliminate the barrier and become a fearless speaker of English, ok? Sounds good? That’s not all! I have prepared a practical part that is 20 sentences to listen and repeat out loud. I’ll go into details later and give you more tiny tips on how to work with those podcast episodes. How to unlock full potential, and make the most of this listening and speaking practice you’re having right now! Excited? I’m so excited, let’s just begin.

Present continuous tense. It consists of two very important parts. The first is the verb ‘to be’ the other one the -ing ending we add to the main verb. I’m going, I’m speaking, you are reading, you’re dancing, she’s sleeping, he’s eating, they are playing, they’re swimming. This is how you pronounce contracted ‘they are’. They’re. They’re. They’re swimming. I’m not going into spelling details or any other. I just want to teach you one way of using present continuous. 

Imagine a situation in which you are annoyed with somebody’s or your own behaviour. The annoying behaviour has been repeated for ages. They’ve been doing it constantly, always, forever. You can’t stand it anymore. 

Normally you would use the present simple tense, especially with adverbs of frequency I’ve mentioned: always, never. Isn’t it a defining feature of present simple tense? It is, but only when you state the fact. Without any emotions attached to it. For example:

I always forget to water my plants.  

This is just a fact. A plain fact. I don’t have green fingers, I can’t take proper care of plants. What if I told you that you can use the present continuous tense, and change the meaning? Listen to this:

I’m always forgetting to water my plants. 

This time it’s slightly different. I’m annoyed, it’s bothering me and thanks to grammar you know it. Only grammar! I haven’t changed a word, I haven’t added anything that might suggest my annoyance. Only present continuous. It works pretty well with ‘always’ and ‘never’. It might seem counterintuitive because you’ve been taught to use the present simple with adverbs of frequency, I get it. Just embrace something new. Always, never, but also: continuously, constantly, all the time. Present continuous can help you to make a complaint and express dissatisfaction. 

I don’t want any passive listeners here, so be active and act. Do something with what you’ve just learned. I suggest two very tangible, concrete steps. 

The first is: continue listening to this episode and repeat out loud the sentences. Say them all out loud. This is kind of magic. No, it’s not magic. This is cognitive science. This is how our brains work. Say the sentences out loud. 

The second step is: go to your inbox, find an email from me and complete the worksheet. If you’re not a member of TOPeople, don’t worry, it’s free, just go to teacherola.com/75 and subscribe. 

Ok, the worksheet. All you have to do is translate Polish sentences into English. There are 10 of them. I say translate 2 per day. Is that a lot? Well, if you listen and repeat all the sentences out loud, the worksheets will be a breeze. In the worksheet, you will see the same sentences. But in Polish. Test your memory, test your understanding and just do it. Two sentences per day. Sounds not enough? It is enough. If you do nothing with your English, repeating the sentences out loud for a few minutes and translating 2 sentences per day gives you much more than you think! 

You don’t need to spend one hour a day to learn. You need to establish the habit of learning every day. Start with five minutes a day. Start with speaking out loud. Repeat the sentences out loud. Don’t whisper, say it. Make a habit. Maybe you’re in a car, or on a walk, washing the dishes or walking the dog. I say, all these situations allow you to say a few sentences out loud. Ok, let’s just do it.

Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be.

Her mother is constantly checking up on her.

Why are you continually criticising me?

I’m always forgetting my keys.

He’s always losing his wallet.

They’re always biting their nails.

My sister’s always oversleeping.

You are patronizing me. You’re always patronizing me.

Well, he’s always bragging about himself. 

He’s constantly trying to make other people look bad.

You’re always telling me what to do.

He’s always working late.

I’m always losing things.

She’s always complaining.

You are always interrupting me when I’m talking and I don’t like it!

Why are you always criticising me?

Why I’m getting tired of you always coming late to class.

is it always raining in Germany?

She’s always tapping her pencil on the desk and it’s getting on my nerves!

That’s all for now! But I suggest you come back here, to these sentences, play this episode again. Not the the whole episode, just the practical part. Repeat the sentences again. Out loud. Maybe put them on a piece of paper, maybe but a notebook for the sentences from the podcast. A heck of an idea! Brilliant, buy a notebook and put those sentences there. Do it tomorrow. After listening and repeating out loud for the second time. Are we clear? Ok, so today I have some actionable steps for you. Let’s sum up, what we we’ve got so far:

  1. Download the worksheet. It’s in the inbox or at teacherola.com/75.
  2. Buy a notebook.
  3. Listen and repeat all the sentences again tomorrow.
  4. Treat this practical part of the episode as a dictation and write in the notebook all the sentences we’ve practised.
  5. Take your worksheet and translate 2 sentences a day for the the next 4-5 days. In 4-5 days there will be the next episode of TeacherOlaPodcast and you’ll have new material to work with. 

Is that clear for you? Action my dear, only action, only doing can help you to move forward. If you have any questions to what I just planned out for you contact me at: contact@teacherola.com or DM me on Instagram. 

And now I can finally say here you ave it, that’s all from me today. Thank you for listening, now please let me know what do you think! Are you going to use my tips? Do you have a notebook ready? I wish you all the best, good luck with your work, I’m excited for you. My fingers are crossed!

If you find this episode useful tell your friends about this podcast. They will thank you for it! Let your friends know you’re listening to this episode by tagging me in your posts or stories. I’d love to see that!

Next week’s topic is going to be a bit different, so please feel invited. Subscribe to this podcast and don’t forget to go to teacherola.com/newsletter and join TOPeople. This group receives e-mails once a week. In this beautiful email, I teach you something small, something I don’t teach anywhere else. It’s only for TOPeople. So you won’t find it on my Instagram nor here in this podcast. I send worksheets and make sure you know new episode has been released.

Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you next Wednesday! Happy learning. Take care! Bye!