present continuous for a temporary habit

1. So now David is studying in the USA he is not coming back very often
2. So now David is studying in the USA he won't come back very often
3. So now David is studying in the USA he does not come very often

So what is the best solution : Is it "he is not coming back"? I think it is the best since studying in the USA is very recent, so it is a very new changement which will last only two or three years but may be present will be ok too because present continuous is already used for study so may be it is not obligatory to use present continuous for come

It would be much clearer that the statement is a temporary situation if you used the while preposition:

• While David is studying in the USA he will not come back very often.
• While David is studying in the USA he won't come back very often

'While' shows that the situation is expected to come to an end.

Alternatively, you could use since to mark the beginning of the period. As most people will recognise that 'studying' does not last forever, it should be a given that it will end.

• Since David began studying in the USA he hasn't come back very often

The difference here is that there is no inference you expect him to come back more often once the study has completed.

• Thanks for your comprehensive explanation. "The difference here is that there is no inference", the difference is between which and what? Mar 21, 2020 at 3:02
• I think they mean the difference between the first two sentences, which are identical except for the contraction "won't" in place of "will not", and the third sentence. They are saying that in the last sentence, David may not be expected to return. Mar 21, 2020 at 3:25
• @JackO'Flaherty Thank you, that's very kind of you. The first two sentences are basically identical, so the difference is the one between that and the third sentence, that is, the difference between "while" and "since" in that context. Is my understanding right? Mar 21, 2020 at 3:46
• Yes, WXJ, that is correct. Mar 21, 2020 at 3:57

All of those sentences are grammatical.

With the adverb very often they also all make sense. (Somehow, when I first answered this, I had missed those words and answered differently.)

If you are stressing that this is a very recent thing (let's say that he only moved to the U.S. a week ago), and he has yet to come back at all, then you're right that there hasn't been a pattern of habituation. Therefore, the future tense version would sound more natural:

Now that David is studying in the U.S., he won't come back very often.

Or, alternatively:

Now that David is studying in the U.S., he isn't going to come back very often.

Note that this makes a lot more sense if David had been living somewhere else in his home country and coming back is referring to visiting his family home. (And assuming that he used to come back home often before he left the country.)

If this is actually a statement about his leaving the country that's causing him to be away from home in the first place, then it would be more natural to say:

Because David is studying in the U.S., he (won't / isn't going to) come back very often.

• no not really because he is studying in the Usa David can only comes bach for holidays or at other times and I was wondering if present continuous could be ok to express this idea, since the fact of not coming home is going to be a "new habit" which will be temporary. After his study he is going to return to his parents home Oct 3, 2018 at 16:10
• so what is the best tense present continuous or future continuous or does both feets Oct 3, 2018 at 16:14
• @user5577 I had somehow managed to miss the final two words in your sentence, and answered inappropriately. I have updated my answer. Oct 3, 2018 at 16:22

1) So now David is studying in the US, he isn't coming back very often. [these days, at present]

2) So now David is studying in the US, he won't come back very often. [future, come back in the future as a general proposition.]

4) So now David is studying in the US, he won't be coming back very often. [future, repeatedly coming back in the future]

One way to look at this is to compare it to simple present and present continuous: won't be coming back is to won't come back very often

as isn't coming back [at the moment or as a future] ] is to doesn't come back [a general statement]

The future continuous is for a future ongoing or continuous activity.

I'm eating a lot of bread these days.

I won't be eating a lot of bread this summer.

I eat a lot of bread now. [general statement].

I won't eat a lot of bread very soon. [in the future, often, an intention, general future statement]

• 2) So now David is studying in the US, he won't come back very often. [future, come back in the future as a general proposition.] 3) So now David is studying in the US, he won't be coming back very often. [future, repeatedly coming back in the future] I can't see the difference between those two . Both indicates repeated actions, may the first one is for a permanent action where as will be coming back indicate a more temporary action Oct 3, 2018 at 17:29
• Can you see differences in present simple and present continuous? If so, it's the same idea applied to a future time. I gave you an example with eat bread. Please review it. Oct 3, 2018 at 17:52
• general statement do mean that it is permanent or will last a very long time and in this case does not come back could be an acceptable solution as a general statement Oct 3, 2018 at 18:40
• The simple present is used for general statements: He works in London and doesn't come back on weekends. The simple future: He will work in London and will not come back on weekends. [general statement for a future intent.] Oct 3, 2018 at 21:16
• So in this case continuous will be better as he is not going to study all his life may be 3 or 4 years Oct 4, 2018 at 5:13