I know that when we ask about someone’s workplace, we say:

  • Where does he work?

I once read that we can use the present tense’s continuous aspect because it’s an ongoing process and this person might for example retire tomorrow even if they have been working there for ten years now.

Is it correct to think so?

Note: I am not a native speaker.

  • 1
    Does he never stop working? I think "Where is he working?" would normally indicate that you're asking about his working location at the present moment, where he has been working uninterruptedly up to the point you ask the question, regardless of where he works (his normal job location) in general. – LjL Jan 16 '17 at 15:03
  • 2
    'Where does he work?' would be the normal, virtually unmarked choice, conveying if anything only a sense of continuity. 'Where is he working?' conveys a sense of his job being considered non-permanent (though not particularly ephemeral), especially if 'at the moment' is tacked on. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 16 '17 at 15:05
  • 1
    "Where is he working" might also be interpreted to mean the physical location, not the business. "Where is he working (today) (next week)? The field office in Somewheresville." – John Feltz Jan 16 '17 at 15:08
  • 1
    This is definitely ELL, isn't it? – Lambie Jan 16 '17 at 15:31
  • 1
    And if he’s a contract worker where frequent changes in employment location is expected, “Where’s he working now?” might be perfectly unremarkable. – Jim Jan 16 '17 at 18:19

We do use the present progressive Where is he working?

It can mean Where is he working (right this second, so I can locate him)?, Where is he working nowadays? (with the expectation that the current situation is of limited duration), and other things depending on the context.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.