When I was watching a film festival program on television, Mr. Sharuk Khan (Indian actor) was giving a speech in Bengali (local language) not fluently and in English fluently. First, he starts speaking Bengali little with difficulty then changes to English rest of the time. While speaking English. He pauses and says "My Bengali speech continues, has not stopped yet". Saying this, he goes on speaking Bengali and English. This is the context. Now my question is:

Why does he use "My Bengali speech continues" in present simple tense and not "My Bengali speech is continuing" in present progressive tense? Also, I see these types of sentences in news headlines such as "Fight over demonetisation continues in parliament" so in this case why is simple present used and why is not continuous "Fight over demonetisation is continuing in parliament" not used?

  • "My [VERBAL NOUN or NOUN alone] continues" is idiomatic and appropriate in the first instance. "Fight continues in parliament" is also idiomatic and commonly found in what is sometimes called "headlinese," a journalistic convention to utilize brevity. "My Bengali speech is continuing" is not idiomatic to a native speaker of English. "My Bengali speech will now continue" would be OK. Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 15:44
  • According to Wikipedia, Shah Rukh Khan also said in his interviews that he is a Pathan from Peshawar and his entire family used to speak Hindko language at home. I'm surprised no-one has yet edited that to the (or a) Hindko language, since it just reads like non-standard "Indian English" to me. But by implication, he's probably not what we'd call a native Anglophone anyway, so it's not obvious to me we can learn anything significant about how English really works by poring over his precise choice of verb tense here. Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 17:10
  • "Also, I see these types of sentences in news headlines" - headlinese is a separate style of speech that doesn't adhere to normal grammatical rules. You should know about it, but don't look to headlines for examples of normal grammar.
    – stangdon
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 17:14

1 Answer 1


Although you may be thinking that "-ing" means for an action to be happening now, to say

my speech is continuing

is incomplete and leaves a question in the listener's mind of either "Continuing what?" or "When does it continue?"

My speech is continuing to put people to sleep.
My speech is continuing after the lunch break.

by saying

my speech continues

he is saying it is continuous and uninterrupted this is especially true after he says
"has not stopped yet".

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