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Autor:  michael robertson
E-mail:  não-disponível
Data:  03/OUT/2003 6:28 AM
Assunto:  Re: Start to or Start ...ing?
Mensagem:  - Start reading
- Stop crying
- Like singing

There is a slight difference in sense between:

(1) Start/ Stop/ Like + -ing form (reading / crying / singing)


(2) Start/ Stop/ Like + -to (do) (read/ cry/ sing)

The –ing form (1):

“The progressive verb forms represent actions or events, or series of actions or events, viewed at some point between their beginning and end. They imply that an action or series of actions has already begun but is not yet completed. At the same time, they indicate that the duration of the action or series of action is limited.” (Advanced English Practice, B D Graver, third ed, Oxford UP, 1986, p 62)

The base verb form (2):

“ … is used to refer to the existence of a situation or state of affairs which either is permanent (or is regarded as permanent), or to refer to repeated or habitual actions.” (p 52)

The base form of the verb is referred to as “stative”

Context and time pointers

“… the actual time at which the activity is in progress is suggested by the context … in such sentences, time is often specified by an adverbial.” (referring to Past Progressive on p. 64)

“The form… indicates an activity in progress at a specific time, in this case in the future,” (referring to Future Progressive, in a phrase with future adverb p.68)

The Difference

It is a time difference, but not one which is specific to past, present or future (adverbs and context can look after that). Rather it is the contrast between (1) permanency and a (2) fluid on-going sense of experience. It is a change of sense in whatever time period.


Whereever the progressive aspect ( -ing form) is used there is a sense of extension of state/activity for a limited period. This effect is present even in the barest pairs, stripped of context, such as:

- Start reading/to read
- Stop crying/to cry
- Like singing/to sing

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Índice de mensagens

 English Made in Brazil -- English, Portuguese, & contrastive linguistics
Start to or Start ...ing?  –  Jorge Santos  02/OUT/2003, 5:37 PM
Re: Start to or Start ...ing?  –  Elsa  02/OUT/2003, 6:16 PM
Re: Start to or Start ...ing?  –  Jorge Santos  02/OUT/2003, 6:33 PM
Re: Start to or Start ...ing?  –  Wagner  02/OUT/2003, 7:17 PM
Re: Start to or Start ...ing?  –  Ronaldo Cardoso  02/OUT/2003, 9:51 PM
 Re: Start to or Start ...ing?  –  michael robertson  03/OUT/2003, 6:28 AM
Re: Start to or Start ...ing?  –  Bruno  03/OUT/2003, 6:15 PM
Re: Start to or Start ...ing?  –  m robertson  03/OUT/2003, 10:45 PM

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