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Occurrence is a type of situation (or state of affairs) which is dynamic, i.e. it is associated with (physical, temporal etc.) change.

The term 'occurrence subsumes activities, accomplishments and achievements and contrasts with states.


Occurrences, especially activities and accomplishments, normally take the progressive aspect when they are used in the present tense. With activities, the progressive aspect denotes the continuation of an action and with accomplishments it refers to the “preparatory process leading towards the culmination of the event” (Ziegeler 2006: 34).

  • I was walking for miles. (activity)
  • He was drawing the picture for his mother. (accomplishment)

Nevertheless, they may also be used with the simple aspect in contexts where the momentaneous character of a dynamic situation is highlighted.

  • Rooney passes the ball....and Beckham shoots. (live commentary)
  • I hereby declare you man and wife. (performative)
  • Here comes my mother. (informal commentaries)

See also

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