The English tense system is enormously difficult for ESL students.
Not convinced? Then articulate the difference in meaning between the following pairs of sentences, and imagine trying to teach the difference to ESL students:
- I live in Frankfurt.
- I'm living in Frankfurt.
- I've cut the grass.
- I've been cutting the grass.
- I'm playing football tomorrow.
- I'm going to play football tomorrow.
- If I win the lottery, I'll buy a new car.
- If I won the lottery, I'd buy a new car.
- Good morning Lucy, I want to see the headmaster.
- Good morning Lucy, I wanted to see the headmaster.