Please tell me is there any fundamental difference between the two sentences:

  1. Even today, people continue to use cheques.

  2. Even today, people are continuing to use cheques.

I mean is there a difference as in time period (i.e when the action starts and when it ends). Or are the two sentence just the same and interchangeable?

2 Answers 2


In this case there is no difference.

Usually, the difference would be one of timing:

I eat breakfast


I am eating breakfast

The former would be for a regular activity, the latter for what I am doing right now.

But when it is a large group of people, the two meanings merge somewhat; someone, somewhere, is using a cheque right now.


There is a difference in tenses. They are both in the present tense. The former (continue) is in the simple present.

The second one (are continuing) is in the present tense using the gerund (auxiliary verb & the infinitive ~ participle)

The only difference in meaning is that emphasis is placed on different aspects. The use of the gerund suggests that the action is happening now and is continuous

  • 1
    This doesn't really help the person asking the question, though. Useful would be to show an example when the difference does matter. Commented Sep 24, 2013 at 1:53

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