Home >> English Grammar >> Start, keep and stop: describing an action in progress.

Start, keep and stop: describing an action in progress.

Understanding grammar is key to understanding a language.
English grammar tips with Gymglish, online English lessons.

Start, Keep and Stop: describing an action in progress.

Let's take a look at three useful constructions in English: to start, to keep and to stop (doing something).

To start (doing something) and to stop (doing something) are commonly used to describe when actions begin and end.
•  They are often used in the imperative, followed by a verb ending in -ing:
Stop making faces. Don't make faces any more.
Don't start eating until I say so. Don't begin eating until I tell you to begin.
•  When to start and to stop are used in verb forms other than the imperative, they may be followed by a verb in the infinitive instead. Note that using the infinitive sometimes changes the meaning of the phrase.
The verb to keep is commonly used to describe when an action continues. It is always followed by a verb ending in -ing.
Keep (on) moving! Don't stop moving!
Note: The verb to continue is similar to keep, however, it is rarely used in the imperative, and rarely to give encouragement. We don't say: 'Continue like that!'. Instead we say:
Keep on going! Keep it up! Keep up the good work! Don't stop! Maintain that good work!

Taking your learning further

Still facing difficulties with 'Start, keep and stop: describing an action in progress.'? Improve your English with Gymglish - try our English lessons for free now and receive a free level assessment!

Do you know any tips to avoid making mistakes with 'Start, keep and stop: describing an action in progress.'? Share it with us!

Find out about other grammar rules. Improve your English further and test Gymglish, online English lessons.