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Prose Poem: Time for Peace

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The forests glow in a milky sunshine, treetops finely silvered with frost. The faraway mountains float, groundless, on a white, bulky pillow of fog.

Hidden are the unspoken secrets of the soul, hidden in gloomy firs, all that’s forgotten and lost on my forest path.

The frozen world says: now it’s the time for peace. All things should stay still. Let the renewed force grow in the roots of the earth, in the depths of the mountains, under the sparkling ice of the ponds.

It’s a day of magic born from nowhere, a healing power flowing from the ancient wizardry of words, a childhood memory of the mysterious physical presence of a miracle.

Everything done is done, and everything said is said. The only thing left is joy.

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How to Give Feedback and be Heard: Use Nonviolent Communication

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Often we are trying to help others with advice but instead feel rejected or misunderstood. It happens especially in situations where a substantial inequality is present: in the interaction between teachers and students, leaders and team members, parents and kids, and so on. The main reason is we think that our habitual ways of communication are also natural and effective, which isn’t always the case.

I’ve written this post as a continuation to How to give feedback on writing. In that post I focused mostly on feedback content, while now I’d like to say more about the form, which is equally important.

The Principles of Nonviolent Communication

First, let me introduce to you a few ideas of Marshall Rosenberg, the author of an approach known as nonviolent communication. Marshall Rosenberg was an American psychologist, teacher, and mediator who started conflict resolution programs in many war-torn areas throughout the world.

  1. The source of conflicts and misunderstanding in communication lies in the very human desire for autonomy. We want freedom to decide for ourselves. We can’t get rid of the desire for autonomy because it’s part of human nature—we only can respect it, especially if we really want to communicate, not command.
  2. Punishments and rewards are never reaching their goals, because they don’t respect human autonomy. That’s why the idea is not to try to get a person to do what we want, but instead to create a quality of connection based on mutual respect and concern where everyone’s needs matter and can be heard.
  3. It requires a shift away from the language based on evaluation/manipulation to the language based on needs. We need to learn how to tell others in a safe, guilt-free manner whether what they are doing is in harmony with our needs or conflicts with them.
  4. Human beings need empathy. They may want advice also, but only after they receive the empathic connection.

Many people believe that reward is good, as it’s the opposite of punishment, but in fact both reward and punishment are manipulative as they use power over others instead of empowering others. By using rewards or punishments, we try to influence others to do what we want. We need a way to help people hear one another, learn from one another, and contribute to each other’s happiness freely, not out of fear of punishment or hope for reward.

Communication Blocks

Below you will find the twelve «communication blocks» listed by Thomas Gordon, a pioneer in teaching communication skills and conflict resolution methods. I tweaked the examples to better reflect the writing feedback theme. Note how habitual many examples look and how well-disguised, sophisticated, hard-to-discover manipulations they are. If taken as advice, many of them are not wrong at all, but so often we don’t have enough empathy to base them on. So here’s the list:

  1. Ordering, directing, commanding: «Don’t do that.»
  2. Warning, admonishing, threatening: «You’d better not write that if you care about your reputation.»
  3. Exhorting, moralizing, preaching: «You must always respect others.»
  4. Advising, giving solutions or suggestions: «Why not to talk to X about that?»
  5. Lecturing, teaching, giving logical arguments: «If kids learn to take responsibility, they’ll grow up to be responsible adults.»
  6. Judging, criticizing, disagreeing, blaming: «You’re wrong about that.»
  7. Praising, agreeing: «I think you’re right.»
  8. Name-calling, ridiculing, shaming: «Look, Mr. Know-It-All.»
  9. Interpreting, analyzing, diagnosing: «You’re just jealous.»
  10. Reassuring, sympathizing, consoling, supporting: «All people go through this sometime.»
  11. Probing, questioning, interrogating: «Who put that idea into your head?»
  12. Withdrawing, distracting, humoring, diverting: «Just forget about it.»

We may believe that we use similar sentences with purest intentions, but have you ever thought about what the other person actually hears? Most probably, something along these lines:

  • «You don’t accept my feeling the way I do.»
  • «You think I’m not as smart as you.»
  • «You think I’m doing something wrong.»
  • «You think it’s my fault.»
  • «You don’t seem to care about how I’m feeling.»
  • «You don’t take me seriously.»
  • «You don’t feel my judgment is legitimate.»
  • «You don’t trust me to work out this problem myself.»

Alternative Methods of Giving Feedback

After reading this long list of communication blocks you probably ask yourselves: «So how to give feedback to people if we don’t use those habitual tricks?»

In fact, giving feedback is simple. We don’t need tricks or complicated methods, however it requires training to get rid of them. Paradoxically, in our critique-based culture we need to learn to be ourselves, be authentic.

The first, easiest, and most important method is to describe what’s happening inside you when you are reading the other person’s writing (or interacting with her/him in another way) instead of trying to evaluate the other side or give advice.

You can start with «When…» (here goes the fragment you give feedback on), continue with «I see/feel/think that…» and end with the description of your feelings or thoughts. Be careful: it’s very easy to slip into judging, so keep an eye on whether you really describe what you feel. Thomas Gordon calls this «I-messages» as opposed to habitual «You-messages.»

Compare:

  • «You are too verbose in this part.» (evaluation, You-message)
  • «When I was reading this part, I felt tired.» (description, I-message)
  • «When I was reading this part, I felt that you are too verbose.» (You-message disguised as I-message)

If we’re speaking about writing feedback, this is what we really want to know—what kind of movies are happening inside of others’ minds when they read our writing. (Of course, we also secretly want a wise one to tell us objectively the truth about our writing so that we could correct and conform, but the only truth is that nobody knows anything and we have to guess what’s going to work.)

The other ways of non-manipulative communication include:

  • Using passive listening (you confirm that you are listening without further action).
  • Using active listening (you emphatically describe a mental state the other person speaks from).
  • Asking open-ended questions or just inviting the other person to tell more.
  • Bringing facts, information, examples without advice or comparison attached.
  • Using metaphors and stories that illustrate what’s happening inside yourself.

Useful Books

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Prose Poem: White Sun

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White sun is bathing in the haze of the frosty morning. My freedom is as far away as the sun, unattainable and inviting—a diamond with thousands of sparkling facets, shining with rays of opportunities, each of which is capable of plunging me into the darkness of exhaustion.

Look through the glittering facets, into the depths, to where the mystery lies, to where the force awakens, into the emptiness from which everything has been born.

The eternal dance of the world is created by the one who stays in the motionless center of the circle, the source of all movement. Every bend of the dance returns to the center, every ray leads to the sun, every glare of the diamond witnesses its depth which only gives strength to its glow.

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Lojban: The Language of the Future for Both Humans and Bots?

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Lojban is an experiment in constructing a human language which could be universally understood by humans from different cultural backgrounds and unambiguously parsed by bots.

Lojban (pronounced loʒban, where «ʒ» is like «s» in «pleasure») can serve as a speakable language, a literary language, an intellectual device for creative writing, a potential machine interlingua, a programming language, and even a speakable logic.

In Lojban, the meaning specified by the speaker cannot be interpreted entirely differently from how it was intended. Also, a Lojban sentence, spoken the right way, is uniquely segmentable into its component words—an invaluable characteristic for the computer parsing of speech. Lojban is described in its reference grammar as lacking syntactic ambiguity, just like most programming languages.

Imagine, you just send a voice or text message to your city administration and get what you need without filling out complicated forms or humans interfering. Or you call to a call center and solve problems without long discussions with operators. Or imagine a programmer simply dictating instructions that can be univocally translated into program code. It supposes everyone speaks Lojban of course, but maybe it would be cheaper in the future to teach it at school than to manually process infinite user requests. 🙂

If a language is unambiguous, then one’s words can easily be legally binding. If we speak blockchain, I can imagine a DAO (a blockchain-based decentralised autonomous organisation) running smart contracts which use a universal, legally binding, unambiguously parsable language.

On the other hand, Lojban isn’t a soulless, rigid language. It can be vague if one wants it to be. It also has a nice feature, attitudinals. These are essentially spoken emoticons which can be dropped in anywhere to spice up a sentence.

Lojban has been built for over fifty years (that is including its predecessor, Loglan). Its 1341 root words were created from the six most widely spoken languages (as of 1987)—Mandarin, English, Hindi, Spanish, Russian, and Arabic. It has a live community of speakers expanding its vocabulary day by day.

And to expand our horizons a bit more, here’s an inspiring Youtube channel on constructing languages called The Art of Language Invention. It’s hosted by David Peterson, creator of the Dothraki and Valyrian languages for «Game of Thrones». David’s been creating languages for more than fifteen years and published a book on the subject—a creative guide to language construction for sci-fi and fantasy fans, writers, game creators, and language lovers.

Useful Links

For Coders

  • Lojban on GitHub
  • la ilmentufa, a collection of formal grammars and syntactical parsers for the Lojban language, as well as related tools and interfaces

Pyramiding: A Writing Technique Helping to Make a Text Richer

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Pyramiding is a warm-up writing technique used at the initial stages of writing. It can be used to start writing on a totally new topic or to find new sides of a very well-known topic. In both cases, it will make your text richer in ideas, points of view, and details.

To describe a pyramid, we need to look at each of its sides, that is, to change a point of view four times. In pyramiding, we take and reflect on at least four different points of view on the topic in the text to develop it deeper and find the main focus.

How To

  1. To try this technique, take a small object which has at least four sides. Put it in front of you and write for two minutes about what you see. Then turn it to see another side and write for another two minutes about what you’re seeing now. Continue until all four sides are described. Your goal is to express as many ideas, thoughts, or feelings as possible. Keep track of time and don’t stop even if it seems to you that there is nothing more to write about.

  2. Now instead of a physical object, you can choose a topic, concept, or idea. Dedicate three to five minutes to each of the four points of view on this topic.

You can use the following prompting questions:

  • Description. What is it? What properties does it have? How do you feel about this topic?
  • Comparison. What else can this topic be compared to? To what other topics is it similar, and how is it different from them? What symbols, analogies, or associations come to your mind?
  • Analysis. What parts does this topic consist of? In what context does it appear? To what other topics is it connected? What are the pros and cons?
  • Use. To whom and for what purpose could this topic be useful? How could it be useful to you personally?

As a result of such a work, you can clarify your own position, discover new points of view, and try new directions of development. This technique helps to test how much a topic is rich in content, determine its most interesting sides, and choose a focus point. It can be used not only for writing, but also as a creative way to get acquainted with a new topic or generate ideas about it.

If you’re interested in becoming part of a writing group, let me know in the comments! I’ll announce the details very soon — stay tuned!

Background

Pyramiding is my modification of Cubing, a technique by Peter Elbow. I reduced the number of sides from six to four, converted a cube to a pyramid, and added a grid of four groups of prompting questions.

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How to Give Feedback on Writing

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The art of giving quality feedback is a tricky one. Most of us were taught by the education system to criticise, measure, compare, evaluate, express approval or disapproval, rate, grade, and so on. Unfortunately, this kind of feedback doesn’t help much when it concerns creativity. It’s hard to imagine how one becomes a better writer by being criticised or evaluated. In fact, this kind of feedback is sort of manipulative: we position the other person in a particular way and influence her/him by that.

The other kind of feedback is still very rare. It isn’t about our opinions regarding the other person’s work. It’s about ourselves — we just describe what we feel and think when we’re experiencing it, and there is no place for marks and grades, no right or wrong. This shift of the focus point makes a big difference. The other characteristic of non-manipulative kinds of feedback is empathy. We’re accepting that the other person has the right to feel and think in that particular way and are aware of situations in our own lives when we have had similar experiences.

In the context of writing feedback, it means I only describe what I’ve been feeling and thinking when reading the text and avoid critique, evaluation, or advice.

Here are some creative ways of giving useful feedback from a very inspiring book I’ve written about recently, Writing Without Teachers by Peter Elbow:

  • Note which words or sentences you’ve experienced as full of energy, true, powerful.
  • Summarise what you’ve read: quickly recap what you see as the text’s main points; then summarise them into a single sentence and then, into a single word.
  • Describe the feelings and thoughts you’ve had like a story: what you felt or thought first, what next, and so on.
  • Use metaphors if it’s difficult for you to explain your perceptions directly: if the text were weather, what type of weather? What animal or plant? What color, geometric figure, landscape, musical instrument, etc.?

There are many more ways of giving feedback on a written text. In fact, there are plenty of things one can learn from others’ writing. But let’s leave that for one of the next posts.

In conclusion, a few tips on receiving feedback:

  • Don’t try to explain what you wanted to say with the text and keep from making apologies.
  • Don’t try to answer to others’ feedback, just accept it.
  • Don’t argue about others’ reactions; everyone has their own vision and this diversity is necessary to give you a larger picture.

Perceive the feedback you received as a message for you to interpret, in the same way as your writing has been perceived by your reader.

If you’re interested in becoming part of a writing feedback group, let me know in the comments! I’ll announce the details very soon — stay tuned!

First published on Steemit

A Teacherless Writing Group: Why It’s Needed and How It Works

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As I said in my previous post, writing is not just about getting things down on paper, but also about getting things inside the reader’s head. Writing is not something happening in my mind only; it’s also a transaction between me and the reader. But how do we know what our readers think and how they feel about our writing?

A teacherless writing group is a place where people share their writing and give each other authentic, constructive feedback on how the author’s words were actually experienced: sort of like movies happening inside your mind as you’re reading. It’s important to note that this is not about offering advice on what to improve in a text. In fact, advice helps in a very limited way, as everyone has unique personal histories, values, and modes of expression.

A teacherless writing group:

  • consists of diverse people.
  • brings together group members committed to writing and giving feedback regularly during a set period of time.
  • offers its members «impact feedback», answering a simple question: what happened in your mind when you were reading the text?
  • provides a facilitator who makes sure the group and feedback rules are observed.

A teacherless writing group helps make writing easier, more pleasurable, and more prolific.

The man behind the idea of a teacherless writing group is Peter Elbow, Professor of English Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the author of several influential books on writing including Writing Without Teachers and Writing With Power.

I’ve been thinking about setting up such a group for a while. Previously, I conducted several writing workshops and online courses. Now I’m feeling it’s the right time. In the next post I will describe in more detail the kind of feedback that will be practiced in the group. Stay tuned!

If you are interested in becoming a member of such a group, let me know in the comments!

First published on Steemit

Writing Without Teachers by Peter Elbow

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It goes without saying that writing skills are crucial for a blogger. Peter Elbow’s «Writing Without Teachers» is a classic book on writing which is still fresh, full of interesting ideas and useful advice.

This book is not about «good writing» and «bad writing». You won’t find there advice on grammatical constructions or usage. Instead, this book can help you generate words more powerfully and make better judgements about your writing.

Peter Elbow is one of the most notable proponents of freewriting, an immensely liberating writer’s technique helping to unlock the power of words. This approach is especially helpful to people who get blocked in their writing, and is equally useful for any writing, be it fiction, poetry, essays, or memos.

Peter Elbow considers freewriting practice the most effective way to improve writing. He offers to do freewriting exercises at least 3 times a week. The idea of freewriting is very simple: just write for 5 to 10 minutes without stopping, looking back, wondering about spelling, or word choice. I described the freewriting technique in full detail here.

The idea behind freewriting is that schooling has made us obsessed with mistakes. We are used to censor not only our words, but also our thoughts and feelings, which blocks us from genuine self expression. ‎ Elbow makes important distinction between writing and editing modes. Both are important, but not at the same time: write first, edit later.

The final part of the book is about the teacherless writing class. Writing is not just about getting things down on paper, but also about getting things inside our reader’s head. We need to understand how our readers perceive and experience our writing.

Basically, a writing class is a group that meets regularly and where everyone reads everyone else’s writing and gives feedback on how the writer’s words were experienced.

A very important point: a teacherless writing class is not about advice on what to improve in a text, nor about theories on what is good and bad writing. The most valuable feedback you could give is to show movies happening inside your mind as you’re reading.

Another influential book by Peter Elbow I highly recommend is «Writing with Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process». He himself describes it as a writer’s cookbook and it’s worth this title — take a look at it, too!

Links

English Literature in Eight Books

Non-English speakers wishing to improve their English can’t miss getting to know English literature. But what to start with? In this short review, I’ve chosen one notable and characteristic book from each historical period. Check your knowledge of the basics and fill in the gaps!

1. 20th century: «1984»

«1984» is a dystopian novel by George Orwell, named the most characteristic literature work of the 20th century. Spoiler: no happy endings.

For those already having read this book, here are a few more options:

  • «To the Lighthouse» by Virginia Woolf
  • «Ulysses» by James Joyce (don’t try this book unless you’re really good in English or read it in your mother tongue)

2. Victorian era: «Great Expectations»

Most critics agree that «Great Expectations» is Charles Dickens’s best book and one of the masterpieces of Victorian literature.

3. Romanticism: «Songs of Innocence»

«Songs of Innocence and of Experience» is an illustrated collection of poems written and illustrated by William Blake.

4. 18th century: «Gulliver’s Travels»

This book, written by Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift, is a satire on human nature. It recounts the story of Lemuel Gulliver, a practical-minded Englishman who takes to the seas when his business fails and narrates the adventures that happen to him on these travels.

5. Restoration Age: «Paradise Lost»

An epic poem by John Milton, one of the greatest English poets of his time, considered to be his major work. The poem is based on the biblical story of the fall of man.

6. English Renaissance: «Hamlet»

A tragedy by William Shakespeare, considered among the most powerful and influential works of world literature. The role of Hamlet has been performed by numerous highly acclaimed actors in each successive century. «Hamlet» is also the world’s most filmed story, after «Cinderella».

7. Middle English: «The Canterbury Tales»

A collection of stories written by Geoffrey Chaucer. The tales (mostly written in verse, although some are in prose) are told by a group of pilgrims as they travel together from London to Canterbury. Chaucer uses the tales and descriptions of its characters to paint an ironic and critical portrait of English society at the time.

8. Old English: «Beowulf»

Probably the oldest surviving epic poem in Old English, narrated about a hero fighting monsters.

In Conclusion: A Few Hints

  • Switch between English and your native language to understand better the nuances and details.
  • Don’t start with old literature, it could be hard to digest. Start either with modern literature, or from both ends (my approach).
  • You can use the snowflake method: start with one book per period and then add more books.

And now, a question to you: what are your candidates for the best English book of the 21th century? Share in the comments section!

Learning English Together: All You Need to Know About Tenses

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In this post I’m going to summarize the most important points about English tenses I’ve learned so far. For me as a non-native speaker, it’s one of the most confusing topics in all of English grammar, because there are many verb forms expressing time reference in English and some of them look similar but have different meanings.

They say the best way to learn something is to explain it to others, so this summary is meant as a reference both for myself and for other non-native speakers. I did my best to make it mistake free, but if you find one, let me know in comments — I’m in no way an English expert.

The Big Picture

Well, I once heard a story of the past, the present, and the future walking into a bar. I am sad to say that it was tense.

First of all, let’s see where this topic is located in a wider context of English verbs:

As you can see, the most complex topics are forms related to time, modals, and moods (especially conditional). By the way, mind mapping is a great tool for studying languages — I’ll write about it in more detail in one of my next posts.

A note on the terminology. A tense refers to time, while an aspect refers to the way an action is happening (for example, whether it’s already finished or is an ongoing process). There are three tenses in the table below — past, present, and future. The rest are aspects. By combining the three tenses with the four aspects we get twelve forms. (By the way, not everyone agrees that future is a tense, but we won’t dig that deep.)

On the table above English tenses and aspects are looking like a very well-thought system, but, unfortunately, it’s only a superficial impression. English is not a system with consistent rules, it’s rather a conglomerate of particular use cases. For example, present perfect belongs to the past at least as much as to the present, and perhaps could be better understood as a form of past tense.

The problem with this table is that its logic (in fact, any logic) doesn’t help us to quickly decide what form to use. I can’t imagine a normal person stopping in the middle of a conversation to try aligning the events she’s speaking about along the famous timeline from English textbooks.

Memory doesn’t work like this. Instead, correct usage is triggered by context. If we learn the trigger words and contexts and become used to discerning them during a conversation, then we will easily choose the right tense/aspect. So my approach is to read and exercise as much as possible instead of trying to memorize complex rules.

Nevertheless, here are the rules, or rather, as I said before, the use cases.

Present

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Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

Simple Present

Example: I study.

It’s not so simple even with the simple present, the simplest of all verb forms. We use the simple present to talk about something that is true in the present («I live in London»), or is always true («The sun is 93 million miles from the Earth»), or happens again and again in the present («I do yoga twice a week»), but also when something is fixed in the future («A post’s payout happens in seven days»).

A detailed explanation

Present Continuous

Example: I am studying.

Present continuous feels intuitive, but is actually a collection of use cases. We use the present continuous to talk about an action happening at the moment of speaking («I’m studying English now»), but also when something is happening around a given time («I’m usually studying English in the evening»), or again and again («It’s always raining here»), or when something is temporary («I’m studying English for the next two hours»). We also use it when speaking about something which is changing, growing, or developing («My English is improving»), or when something contrasts with a previous state («Nowadays most people are using computers to study English»), or when speaking about something which has been planned («What are you doing next week?»).

A detailed explanation

Present Perfect

Example: I have studied.

— How do you know that carrots are good for the eyes?
— Have you seen a rabbit wearing glasses?

If we arrange verb forms by their complexity to learn for non-native speakers, I bet that the first place will be taken by the present perfect. It’s a large collection of different contexts. If we manage the present perfect, other aspects will take their right places in our mind soon.

We use the present perfect for something that started in the past and continues in the present («She has lived in London since childhood»), or, on the contrary, has changed over time («Governments have become more interested in cryptos since last year»), or for something we have done several times in the past and continue to do («He has written six books and he is working on another one»), or when we are talking about our experience up to the present («I have been to London»). We also use it for something that happened in the past but is important at the time of speaking («I can’t get in the house. I’ve lost my keys), or when we are referring to the recent past, with trigger words like «just» or «recently» («I have just finished my work»). We also use the present perfect with adverbials referring to the present, like ever, so far, until now, and yet («Have you ever seen a ghost?»).

A detailed explanation

Present Perfect Continuous

Example: I have been studying.

As I said, if we master the present perfect, the other aspects will follow. The present perfect continuous is similar to the present perfect: we are speaking about something that started but did not finish in that period of time («I’ve been writing for the last hour») or finished just recently, with more focus on the process («I’ve just been practicing my English»).

A detailed explanation

Past

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Simple Past

Example: I studied.

— Why did Shakespeare only write in ink?
— Pencils confused him — 2B or not 2B?

Simple past is what many non-native speakers normally use when speaking about the past. But its actual use is more nuanced and limited with several cases. We use the simple past to talk about something that happened once in the past («I met my wife in 1992»), or something that happened again and again in the past («We always enjoyed visiting our friends»), or something that was true for some time in the past («I lived abroad for ten years»). Trigger words: when, ago, often, sometimes, always, yesterday, last week, at five o’clock etc.

A detailed explanation

Past Continuous

Example: I was studying.

We use the past continuous to talk about something which continued before and after another action («The children were doing their homework when I got home»), or something that happened before and after a particular time («In May she was blogging a lot»), or to show that something continued for some time («Everyone was shouting»), or something that was happening again and again («They were meeting secretly after school»). It’s also used with verbs which show change or growth («My English was improving»).

A detailed explanation

Past Perfect

Example: I had studied.

— Don’t you know the Queen’s English?
— Why, yes, I’d heard she was.

We use the past perfect to express the idea that something occurred before another action or before a specific time in the past («She had never seen a bear before she moved to Russia»). We also use it to talk about the past in conditions, hypotheses, and wishes («I wish I hadn’t spent so much bitcoin last month»). Trigger words: when, before, after, since.

A detailed explanation

Past Perfect Continuous

Example: I had been studying.

We use the past perfect continuous to show that something started in the past and continued up until another time in the past («How long had you been waiting to get on the bus?») or to show cause and effect («He was tired because he had been jogging»).

Future

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Simple Future

Example: I will study; I am going to study.

Simple future refers to a specific time in the future. This is the only simple thing about it; the rest is complicated as it has different forms which aren’t always interchangeable: «will,» «shall» (dated), and «be going to.»

We use simple future to predict a future event («It will rain tomorrow» or «John Smith is going to be the next president»), to express a voluntary action («I’ll do the washing-up») or a plan («I’m going to be an actor when I grow up»), to give orders («You will do exactly as I say») or an invitation («Will you come to the dance with me?»), to make an offer or a suggestion («Shall we go to the cinema tonight?), or to ask for advice («What shall I tell the investors about this money?»).

A detailed explanation

Future Continuous

Example: I will be studying; I am going to be studying.

We use the future continuous to show that a longer action in the future will be interrupted by a shorter action («He will be studying at the library tonight, so he will not see her when she arrives»). We can use a specific time as a kind of interruption («Tonight at six pm, I am going to be eating dinner»). Future continuous has two interchangeable forms: «will be doing» and «be going to be doing.»

A detailed explanation

Future Perfect

Example: I will have studied; I am going to have studied.

We use the future perfect to show that something will happen before another action or a specific time in the future («You will have perfected your English by the time you finish reading this article»), or will continue up until another action in the future («I will have been in London for three months by the time I leave»). Future perfect has two interchangeable forms: «will have done» and «be going to have done.»

A detailed explanation

Future Perfect Continuous

Example: I will have been studying; I am going to have been studying.

We use the future perfect continuous to show that something will continue up until a particular event or time in the future («How long will you have been studying when you graduate?»). It can also be used to show cause and effect («Her English will be perfect when she returns home because she is going to have been studying English in London for two years»). Future perfect continuous has two interchangeable forms: «will have been doing» and «be going to have been doing.»

A detailed explanation

That’s all about tenses and aspects. I don’t cover here other verb forms like future in the past, «used to,» or «would always.»

Oh, and if you want to write really well, don’t forget about these rules! 🙂

My Related Posts

Useful Links and Resources

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