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Sometimes in English, distinguishing the differences between Present Tense and Present Progressive Tense is not easy for me who is not native English speaker.

Especially the verb "wonder" confuses me.

From what I have seen, the verb "wonder" seems to be used as "I wonder whether Neo is the one." instead of "I am wondering whether Neo is the one.".

But obviously, I have sometimes seen "I am wondering ~" form as well. What is the difference?

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It is one of the usual difference between simple present and present continous.

"I am wondering" -> Ongoing activity. Currently in process.

"I wonder" -> General state. Current fact

For this word, "I am wondering" is much less common, to the extent that it has been used to stereotype the accent of non-native speakers, for example by the character "Borat".

  • Thank you for the explanation very much, James K! But, is there any error in the explation, "to the extent that it has been used to stereotype the accent of non-native speakers, for example by the character "Borat""? I can not understand it. Maybe it is because my English is too short to understand it. – Smart Humanism Sep 14 '16 at 22:38
  • @SmartHumanism - No, there's no error, but it's a complicated sentence. Let me try to put it simply: "Non-native speakers speak that way more than natives do. They do it so much that it's a stereotype. Borat is a good example of this stereotype." And maybe it is an unfair stereotype, but Indian speakers of English do seem to do this a lot, saying things like "I am being happy to be helping you" instead of "I am happy to help you." We do certainly use the present continuous, but you have to know when and how to use it! – stangdon Sep 14 '16 at 23:47
  • @stangdon Thank you so much for the kind and neat answer! I am touched, lol. – Smart Humanism Sep 15 '16 at 2:18

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