My students were having trouble with the difference between an action in the present and a habitual action. The book seemed a little technical here, so I pulled out my cell phone. “I’m going to call my boyfriend,” I said. “I’m going to ask if he is taking a shower now. What will he say if is he is?”
At this point my class motormouth told me “Not say nothing — he won’t take his phone in the shower!” which is much funnier than where this story is, but it’s my blog so I’m the center of attention. (Actually, I think the world is my blog…) One of my other students said “Yes, I am taking a shower.”
“Right. What if I ask him ‘Do you take a shower?’ What will he say then?”
“Yes, I do take a shower.” said the half of the class who got it. The other half looked at me blankly.
I prodded them to explain that if he says ‘No, I’m not taking a shower’, that means he wasn’t in the shower when I called. If he says ‘No, I don’t take a shower’ that means my boyfriend is smelly and dirty.
“What if I ask ‘Are you eating dinner?’ What if I ask ‘Do you wash the dishes?'” I practiced with them. They answered perfectly, until I asked “What if I ask ‘Are you playing computer games?'”
Then the quiet guy piped up. “Then you know why he don’t take a shower.”