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Nowadays he teaches physics because the teacher of physics has been absenting himself for a month.

This is an error spotting question asked in my exam, I see two possible ways to correct it but don't know which one is correct.

  1. Nowadays he is teaching physics because the teacher of physics has been absenting himself for a month.

  2. Nowadays he teaches physics because the teacher of physics has been absent for a month.

Which is the correct way to go?

  • 1
    Side note: this is not an idiomatic use of nowadays. Idiomatic would be these days (at least in AmE). – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 20 '17 at 14:46
  • We would never say "absenting himself", which eliminates 1. automatically. – user3169 Aug 20 '17 at 18:38
  • @user3169 I thought the same but found its usage here collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-thesaurus/… – user212388 Aug 21 '17 at 1:18
  • If you check an ngram, you will see the usage has decreased over time. Seems like an antiquated usage. – user3169 Aug 21 '17 at 5:44
  • What is the source of your example? Any idea why it was written this way? "has been on leave for a month" would be a more understandable version. Also I don't think the perfect tense works since it is not a continual action. – user3169 Aug 21 '17 at 5:46
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The second option is correct. It is redundant to use the present progressive when a limited time frame for an non-repetitive event is specified. Therefore simply using the present (teach rather than is teaching, and has been absent rather than has been absenting himself) is more concise, and more precise.

  • 1
    You've been saying that all year. I think you need to be more specific than "when the time frame is specified". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 20 '17 at 14:42
  • You're right; I'm referring to events that do not stop and resume within a period of time, rather I am indicating an event that occurs once (could be continuous) in that time-frame. – Confused Soul Aug 20 '17 at 14:52

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