Can "sometimes" be used with progressive

Sometimes I drink beer

Sometimes I am driving very fast

With a continuous tense does it mean that the event happens less often than with a simple tense

  • Sometimes when I am driving fast, .....
    – Raj 33
    Jan 13, 2018 at 14:41
  • You'd need a somewhat contrived context to make the continuous verb form acceptable in your example: I have this dream every night where I'm driving to work in my car, but I know I'm going to be late. Sometimes I'm driving very fast, but usually I'm just stuck in slow-moving traffic. For most "normal" contexts, using the continuous verb only occurs in "Indian English", and would usually be considered "invalid" to mainstream native speakers. Jan 13, 2018 at 15:32
  • @FumbleFingers I'm an Indian and I don't use that way.
    – Raj 33
    Jan 13, 2018 at 17:35
  • @Raj 33: Good for you! But are you implying that you never hear other people using continuous verb forms like that? Here in the UK, it's a very strong indicator that the speaker isn't a native Anglophone and/or that he's much more likely to come from India than anywhere else. Jan 13, 2018 at 17:39
  • 1
    ...having said that, I think sometimes IE is great! In my days as a software technician I was always glad that IE introduced us to prepone as the opposite of postpone, and as a Brit I'm thoroughly signed up to the slang usage Innit, which I'm pretty sure was popularised here by people who originally came from India. Jan 13, 2018 at 18:53

1 Answer 1


Sometimes, never, always are generally used with the simple present for general statements: I sometimes drink beer, I never drink beer, I always drink beer instead of wine.

These adverbs go with the simple present or another tense expressing generalities. For example:

I'm always drinking beer at 6:00 pm on Friday afternoons. It is still a general statement even if you do use the progressive.

OR "He's always losing his temper with me."

But the adverb must be matched to a verb.

OR "He was sometimes playing on Saturdays instead of Sundays."

Therefore, "Sometimes, I am driving fast" on its own is not right: "I sometimes drive fast." or "Sometimes, I drive fast".

"Sometimes, when I'm driving fast, I forget everything else". In this example, the sometimes modifies the verb forget. So, it is grammatical.

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