Can we use the Present Simple in this sentence : As you know, I try to learn Chinese. Or is it better to use the Present Continuous?

  • 1
    What are you trying to say, exactly? The two tenses mean different things.
    – Andrew
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 21:40
  • Could you explain what this sentence means with the Present Simple?
    – Helen
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 21:46
  • 1
    The simple present is used for things that you do on a consistent, regular basis ("I brush my teeth every morning"), or for things that are common or natural ("The sun rises in the east"). The present continuous is for ongoing actions. Note I ask what you are trying to ask, because that is what you are currently doing.
    – Andrew
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 21:51
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? Present Simple/Continuous
    – Lambie
    Commented May 29 at 14:03

1 Answer 1


With the verb try, the simple present I try does not refer to something you are doing now, at this time in your life. Rather, it refers to an effort you always give.

You mean "now", and so for that meaning you would say I am trying to learn English and chess.

You have decorated the place very nicely for the party!
-- I try.

There, I try means, "I am always willing to put in a good effort. It is in my nature to try to do a good job."


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