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Business English: Easier than You Think

A Guide to the Use of Tense and Aspect

Language:  English
Need to use English for business? This overview gives you guidelines combined with business examples which help you choose the right tense to achieve a higher standard of business communication.
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A simple guide to help business users of English choose the right tense for different situations and avoid damaging mistakes. Which tense is appropriate in which situation?This guide explains how ‘aspects’ combine with tenses in English and gives in depth advice and examples of the use of tenses in business situations.The goal: a simple logical structure to communicate about the present, the past, and the future clearly and with greater impact.

About the Authors

After many years in business media publishing (in the UK), Brent has worked as a trainer and coach for German commercial, industrial and statutory organisations since 1998. Julia specialises in business, technical and administrative documentation translation.Both are of British origin and have run Corporate BE together since 2012. The company specialises in business English coaching, translation, and creative text development.

  • About the authors
  • Introduction
  1. Clarification of the terminology
    1. The basic terminology
    2. The difference between ‘tense’ and ‘time’
    3. ‘Tense’ and ‘aspect’ and their relationship with ‘time’
  2. Aspect in English
    1. The simple aspect
    2. The progressive aspect
    3. The perfect aspects
    4. Conclusion
  3. Aspects in present time
    1. Present simple: the hard facts
    2. Present progressive: change and process
    3. Present perfect simple: the current status
    4. Present perfect progressive: the process reaches an end
    5. Comparing the present aspects
    6. Summary
  4. The past aspects
    1. Past simple: it’s over
    2. Past progressive: putting life into the story
    3. Past perfect simple & past perfect progressive: going back in time
    4. Combining the past aspects
    5. Special uses of the past forms: when the past tense is not the past
    6. Summary
  5. Aspects in future time
    1. Present simple: timetables & co
    2. Present progressive: not just a plan, preparation has begun
    3. Present perfect simple & present perfect progressive: putting future events into sequence
    4. Modal futures: from now into the future
    5. ‘Be going to’: from the past into the future
    6. Talking about the future in different business situations
    7. Summary
  • Final Words
  • List of Tables and Figures
  • References
About the Authors

Julia Ellis-Simpson


Brent Ellis-Simpson