I just failed this one in a test. Why it is not "We take the dog for a walk every morning"? Why continuous tense should be used?

  • 5
    There's nothing wrong with: We take the dog for a walk every morning. There is no grammatical reason to use the present continuous. – Ronald Sole Jan 29 '17 at 20:05
  • General statements take the present simple. Kindly note: I have noticed the the present continuous is used differently in India, for example. – Lambie Jan 29 '17 at 23:09
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    We are taking the dog for a walk every morning to me strongly implies that this is a temporary condition - perhaps while we're staying here, or until the dog's owner gets back. The choice of the continuous where the simple present would be more usual indicates the temporary nature. – Colin Fine Jan 30 '17 at 0:41
  • What was the exact task? Did the sentence appear in the middle of a dialogue? Was it a transformation exercise. There is not enough detail, Andrew's answer may well be right based on the information you have given. But it may be incorrect if the task was something quite specific. We don't know, you're only asking why the present continuous tense was preferred. We don't know, unless you provide the context. – Mari-Lou A Jan 30 '17 at 11:55

You are correct; your teacher is wrong. When describing actions that occur on a regular basis, it is more common to use the simple present:

I play tennis every day at noon.

Every Tuesday I wash the dog.

She brushes her teeth first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

And so on. You might use the present continuous if the action occurs simultaneously with another action:

Each morning, at the moment the sun rises, we are usually walking the dog.

But this is a very specific and unusual case, where I really want to emphasize what is happening at a particular moment. In most cases, it would be more natural to say:

We take the dog for a walk every morning around sunrise.

  • I would be wary about saying whether a teacher was wrong. We don't have enough information. We don't know what the exercise was, how the question was formulated, or if the sentence was part of a dialogue. – Mari-Lou A Jan 30 '17 at 11:52

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