When describing an action in a picture should I use present progressive tense or present simple tense?

For example if I want to write a title for the following picture, it should be:

"This gentleman asks his girlfriend "will you marry me"


"This gentleman is asking his girlfriend "will you marry me" ?

enter image description here

  • Why are you writing a title? I ask because guy is too informal for say a magazine. If your homework is to describe the action, the answer would be different. If you need to describe the action in the image, then how much detail do you need?
    – WRX
    Feb 16 '17 at 16:04
  • 4
    I'd go with "is asking", since a photograph is of an event in progress, and every time you view the event, the event is perpetually "happening"
    – mstorkson
    Feb 16 '17 at 16:21
  • @WillowRex Then I've changed it to gentleman. But anyway my question issue is about the tense. Feb 16 '17 at 16:38
  • @mstorkson In the past I think that I've been told that in titles the using is in present tense (even in things that they are in present progressive). But I'm not sure about that. Feb 16 '17 at 16:38

Both are correct.

"This gentleman asks his girlfriend, "Will you marry me?"

Please note added comma, capital and question mark.

"This gentleman is asking his girlfriend, "Will you marry me?"

Please note added comma, capital and question mark. I prefer this example, but the first is fine.

If it is a caption for a publication, you can drop some words:

Gentleman Asks Girlfriend to Marry Him (More capitals, no commas or periods.)

If you are meant to describe the image:

The young man is proposing. He is down on one knee and has brought (brings) his girlfriend gifts to show how serious he is about his proposal. The young woman looks quite disinterested.

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