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Lesson 11: Snail Mail Just Won't Cut It!

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to store data or information. Insert a diskette into the
computer so we can copy this
report onto it.
File. A complete collection of data stored on a computer. /
have several computer files
where I store everything I've written.
Hardware. The equipment components of a computer, the
electronic parts such as CPU,
keyboard, screen, etc. You need to know what kind of
hardware your computer has before
you can add anything to it.
Insert. To put something into a machine, such as a diskette
into a computer. If you
don't insert this cable into the computer, your printer won't
work.
Interface. The connection and/or communication between
different machines, such as a
computer and a printer. This can also mean two people
working together and
communicating. The computer and printer interface via this
cable.
Keyboard. The typewriter-like board with letters and
numbers that is used to give
commands to the computer. Bill spilled coffee on his
keyboard, and now he can't type
anything.
Modem. The device that connects a computer to a cable or
telephone line. You need
upgrade your modem before you can get high-speed
Internet.
Monitor. The computer screen. Next time, I want to get a
monitor capable of
showing videos.
Mouse. A small device that can be rolled to move the cursor
and control various functions
on the computer. Move the cursor over the icon by rolling the
mouse.
Scanner. A device that reads pictures and printed copies
and stores them as files in 1
computer. If you want to put your picture on your website
you can use the scanner.
Shareware. Limited-use software that can be used on a trial
basis. Here, try this
shareware on English grammar and let me know what you
think.
Software. Programs, tools or applications that are run on
computer hardware. If you
use accounting software it's much easier to make budgets
and file your income tax.
Spam. Unsolicited email sent to many addresses at once,
usually commercial.
Advertisers try to disguise their spam by coming up with
clever subject lines.
Upgrade. To improve something. I'd like to upgrade to a
newer, faster computer.
Window. A box or opening on a computer screen where a
program or application is
displayed. Your computer is running so slowly because
you've got too many windows
open.
W. W. W. World Wide Web. A part of the Internet that is
navigated by using different
addresses to access different sites. A lot of website
addresses start with www.

11D ENGLISH UNDER THE HOOD


TOPIC 1: The Present Perfect Tense vs. the Present
Perfect Progressive Tense
You learned about the present perfect tense in the first
lesson. Remember that it's

formed with have/has + past participle.


106 FLUENT ENGLISH
We have seen that movie.
The present perfect describes an action that is finished, but it
refers to a time frame
that is not finished.
We have visited San Francisco twice. (In our lives.)
/ worked five days last week, but I've only worked twice this
week.
There is also a progressive or continuous form of this tense,
the present perfect
progressive. It's formed with have/has been + verb + ing.
We have been watching that movie for two hours.
The present perfect progressive describes an action that
began in the past and
continues into the present.
We have been visiting San Francisco for two weeks. (We are
still in San Francisco.)
/ have been thinking about calling you. (I started thinking
about it at some point in the
past, and I am still thinking about it.)
Some verbs can be used interchangeably and mean the
same things in both tenses,
such as live, work and teach. Notice that these verbs
suggest actions that take place
over a long period of time or as a process, or something that
is practiced habitually,
such as a hobby or a tradition.
/ have worked in schools all my life.
I have been working in schools all my life.
We have come/been coming to this restaurant on our
anniversary for years.
It's not common to use the verb be in the present perfect
progressive tense.
/ have been here for two hours.
We have been on the nominating committee for four months.
However, in informal conversational English, it is possible to
hear the present perfect
progressive form of be, often to talk about someone's
behavior. Keep in mind that this
is a very relaxed, conversational form.
You've been (being) a real jerk ever since we got here!
She's been (being) extra helpful since the baby was born.
PRACTICE EXERCISE 1: Complete each sentence with
either the present perfect
or the present perfect progressive form of the verb in
parentheses. Keep in mind
that if an action continues you need to use the present
perfect progressive, but if it
has ended use the present perfect.
1. We (have) _________ three thunderstorms this week, but
it's sunny now.
2. The neighbors' dog (bark) __________ since IO:OO P.M.
3. My computer (make) __________ an odd sound since I
turned it on.
4. The moon light (shimmer) ___________ on the lake all
night.
5. That phone (ring) _________ about fifty times today!
Lesson 11: Snail Mail Just Won't Cut It! 107
6. The baby (cry) _________ since we put her in bed.
7. Ms. Braylton (teach) ________ English for about twenty
years now.
8. How long (collect) _________ you _________ glass
bottles?
9. She (send) _________ me three e-mails this morning.
10. This (be) ________ such a wonderful evening.
TOPIC 2: The Present Perfect Progressive Tense vs. the
Past Perfect
Progressive Tense

The past perfect progressive tense is formed with had been


+ verb + ing.
The doctor had been seeing patients all afternoon when I
walked in.
As you have seen, the present perfect progressive is used to
describe actions begun in
the past and continuing into the present.
The Drakes have been living in Toronto for a long time.
The past perfect progressive is used to describe actions that
began and continued to
happen in the past before another action happened.
The Gonzalez family had been living in Seattle until Mr.
Gonzalez got a promotion and the
family relocated to Miami.
Linda was exhausted last week because she hadn't been
sleeping very well.
Notice that this tense is used to emphasize the relationship
between two past
actions, one of which began and continued in the past before
another one.
PRACTICE EXERCISE 2: Complete the sentences with
either the present perfect
progressive or past perfect progressive of the verb
given in parentheses.

1. Janet (not feel) _________ well for days before she finally
went to the doctor.
2. Joe (study) _________ for two hours, so he'll take a break
now.
3. The paper in my printer (get) __________ stuck for the
last few days.
4. We (have) __________ meetings every day to discuss
this problem until Bill finally
came up with a good way to make it work.
5. Barry (work) _________ hard on the project for months
before the new
director arrived.
6. We (come) _________ to this restaurant for years, so they
know us here.
7. My car (work) __________ poorly until I took it in to the
mechanic.
8. The tree (not get) __________ enough water lately
9. The printer (buzz) _________ until I turned it off and then
on again.
10. Tom and Luann (see) _________ each other, but they
broke up last week.
TOPIC 3: