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calling all pedants/ EFL teachers

(9 Posts)
BratFarrarsPony Sun 18-Dec-16 05:04:14

I said this to my daughter tonight..

'Don't you be telling me.....blah blah'

What tense would that be then.....?

Can it ever be used in a positive sentence?

I suspect it is Irish English..another one that springs to mind is 'don't you be going on now....'

Pluto30 Sun 18-Dec-16 05:06:55

I'd say it's present tense, but it's incorrect.

"Don't you tell me..." would be correct.

BratFarrarsPony Sun 18-Dec-16 05:09:46

Pluto , 'incorrect' is not the point.

English grammar is descriptive not prescriptive.

I am interested in what people actually say.

As I have said many times , there is no Academy of the English language to say what is 'correct' or 'incorrect' and that it one of its strengths as a world language....

VintagePerfumista Sun 18-Dec-16 17:34:10

I'd classify it as some kind of present negative imperative.

It would definitely be one of those thingies <waves hand around vaguely> that only exist as a kind of set phrase, and only in the negative form.

I imagine it has a regional colloquial origin. Another which springs to mind is the "I was after getting a new dress" which my N Irish friend says.

YokoUhOh Sun 18-Dec-16 17:36:28

Agree with Vintage but there's a strange juxtaposition of present participle (telling) and infinitive (be). I expect it's colloquial/dialect, like you say.

BratFarrarsPony Sun 18-Dec-16 17:43:24

lol I was just googling 'Hiberno English ' and I found this...
Perfect example of this construction in the first minute...

Madamfrog Tue 20-Dec-16 23:53:05

It is the present continuous tense, also called the present progressive. It is an imperative as well.

Lapinlapin Wed 21-Dec-16 00:00:17

Came on to say present continuous, but Madamfrog has beaten me to it!

BratFarrarsPony Wed 21-Dec-16 08:29:29

well maybe but it is not the 'present continuous' as it is taught in EFL is it? Imagine if I taught that to my student in Spain! grin

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