Number one for English language teachers

Grammar: Narrative tenses

Rachael Nobbs encourages students to invent their own tales with her winning Lesson Share entry that practises the past tenses and features a mysterious urban myth …

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Readers' comments (7)

  • Hi Andy,

    The issue here is to do with what is called relational verbal processes. Verbs can be used in different processes. One is relational and another is material. In material processes, the verb describes something being done i.e. speeding.

    So, for example, it is acceptable to have:

    'They saw a car speeding in the opposite direction' as a simple reduction of 'They saw a car which was speeding in the opposite direction'.

    This, as you correctly identified, is a reduced relative clause.

    However, with relational verbs this isn't the case. Relational processes are those in which the verb simply reports the relationship between the object in question and its attribute and do not describe something being done. These verbs take the -ing form when acting as post-modifiers in non-finite clauses.

    So, for example:


    'A car, closely resembling their Porsche ...' would be 'A car, which closely resembled their Porsche...' and not 'A car closely resembled their Porsche...'

    Hope that helps. For more information on verbs and processes, have a look at the link below:

    http://www.languageinconflict.org/the-world-through-language/representing-processes.html

    Best wishes,
    The onestopenglish team

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  • During the grammar focus section my students asked me about the verbs "resembling" and "speeding" on the 2nd line of the 2nd paragraph. They were underlining all the verbs and wanted to know the tense of these two.
    "I figured out that "Speeding" is part of a reduced relative clause. I couldn't find a satisfactory answer for "resembling" however.
    This was the only disappointing part of the lesson.

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  • Thank you. A very good resource for practising narrative!

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  • Excellent! Thank you for sharing.

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  • Oops, I wanted to rate this resource a 4, but my computer was very prompt in registering my first star before I had even a chance to click on the rest (technicians, how come?). So now I've rated it with only one poor star (sorry!!!) whereas I think it's excellent material!! I've really enjoyed working with it with my students! Thank you!

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  • It´s a very complete plan to practice tenses!!!

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  • Thank you for sharing this excellent teaching resource. It is a great teaching resource for upper-intermediate or advanced students but would be quite adaptable for pre-intermediate and intermediate students.

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