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calling all pedants/ EFL teachers

8 replies

BratFarrarsPony · 18/12/2016 05:04

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....'

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Pluto30 · 18/12/2016 05:06

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

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

BratFarrarsPony · 18/12/2016 05:09

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....

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VintagePerfumista · 18/12/2016 17:34

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

It would definitely be one of those thingies 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 · 18/12/2016 17:36

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 · 18/12/2016 17:43

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

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Madamfrog · 20/12/2016 23:53

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

Lapinlapin · 21/12/2016 00:00

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

BratFarrarsPony · 21/12/2016 08:29

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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