We’re all still learning…
We recently had a subscriber ask us about tips on teaching the adverbs still, no longer, and not anymore. When we want to express a continuing action in the present, we use the present progressive (present continuous) for action verbs and the simple present for non-action verbs. The adverb still is the natural choice for emphasizing an ongoing action. When we want to explain that we used to do something, but we’ve since stopped that ongoing action, the adverbs no longer and not anymore do the job nicely. So why do students sometimes struggle with these adverbs? The sentence positions are all different! Listing the various positions for them often helps.
|Simple Present:||Still + Verb|
|Simple Present (Be):||Be + Still|
|Present Progressive:||Be + Still + -ing Verb|
|Simple Present:||No longer + Verb|
|Simple Present (Be):||Be + No longer|
|Present Progressive:||Be + No longer + -ing Verb|
|Simple Present:||Do + Not + Verb (+ O) + Anymore|
|Simple Present (Be):||Be + Not (+ O) + Anymore|
|Present Progressive:||Be + Not + -ing Verb (+ O) + Anymore|
Note: Not anymore is pretty common as a short answer.
- A: Are you still going to the party tonight?
B: Not anymore
Still, Already, Yet
Students are often confused by still because it has two different uses. When still and yet are used with the present perfect, they signal the intention to do something, and they are always used with a negative verb. Already emphasizes that an action is completed, and it follows the normal adverb pattern.
|Still:||Still + Have + Not + Past Participle|
|Yet:||Have + Not + Past Participle (+ O) + Yet|
|Already:||Have + Already + Past Participle|
Have your students discuss (or write about) their habits, both good and bad. What do they still do? What do they no longer do/what don’t they do anymore? They could also discuss their hobbies, jobs/studies, food, etc.
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