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Dr Grammar


Posted by dannysam   18 Oct 2013 9 34 am

The following scripts were downloaded from BBC Learning English. I have got two questions about grammar needed your help.

Script 1

Jennifer : My name is Jennifer. I am joined in the studio by Neil.

My question is Jennifer used passive voice "am joined" to describe her situation.

1. Did she mean she was asked or invited by Neil to the studio?

2. Can I say " I've joined in the studio with Neil "? Or " I am joining in the studio with Neil?

Script 2

Jennifer : In this episode, we are going to be talking about cycling and how to keep safe on the road.

Could you tell me the difference between " we are going to be talking " and " we are going to talk"?

Best regards
Danny Sam


Posted by alex stringer   18 Oct 2013 9 58 am

Hi Danny,

joining somebody

It means Jennifer was already in the studio and then Neil came in. It's a common way for radio presenters to announce the arrival of another person such as a second presenter or a guest.

Note that if Neil joins Jennifer, Jennifer is there first and Neil arrives. If you put it round the other way, you change the meaning.

You could express the same idea in other ways:

Neil has (just) joined me in the studio.
I've (just) been joined in the studio by Neil.
Neil (now) joins me in the studio (now).

You will see that often a choice of tenses is possible in English with no significant change in meaning.

going to / future continuous

This is a tricky one. We often use be+going to for plans and intentions, so it's quite natural here.

It's also common to use the future continuous for things that have been arranged or are definitely going to happen. It can indicate that the action will continue over a period of time or be repeated, as in your example:

We'll be working on the drawings next week.
We're going to Italy for our holidays this year so we'll be eating a lot of pasta.

Text books usually over-simplify the use of the future continuous and say it's used to describe an action in progress at a point in time in the future:

I will be lying on the beach this time tomorrow. - i.e at (whatever time it is now) you will already be on the beach at the same time tomorrow.

But there's more to it than that.


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