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I was reading an article on HowStuffWorks and came across the following:

The shortage of donated organs in the United States is so severe that many patients are seeking out transplants in other countries. In some countries, notably China, foreigners can buy the organs they need instead of waiting at home. These organs typically come from executed prisoners who have not volunteered to donate organs.

This situation is extremely controversial in the organ transplant community. Paying for organs is considered unethical in most Western nations, as is the recovery of organs if the donor has not agreed to donate them. Furthermore, there is strong indication that execution schedules are being modified to meet patient demand.

I always see the progressive tense being used on this site. What is the difference between are seeking out and seek out, and are being modified and are modified?

I can't say for sure, but perhaps by using the present progressive the author emphasizes that these events are happening in the world right now. Seek out and are modified, from my understanding, would simply point out the fact of their existence.

  • To me, seeking out transplants is an odd phrase. We seek out doctors who do transplants when we are seeking a transplant. But that is a separate question from the progressive. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 21 '17 at 19:44
  • It's just narrative voice. – Azor Ahai Jul 21 '17 at 23:08
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They essentially mean the same thing. The author probably didnt proof-read it to make sure it was perfectly efficient and compliant with english grammar. I think either way is acceptable but perhaps he used some unnecessary words, or even a colloquialism

  • We capitalize proper names in English. "Proofread" is not a hyphenated word. The question asks for the difference between the present simple and present progressive tenses, and there certainly is a difference—a Super Mega difference, in some cases. – P. E. Dant Jul 21 '17 at 23:58

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