1. Peter is uses a dictionary.
  2. Peter is using a dictionary.

Could someone help explain why "uses" is wrong? I know that "using" is the right one and "uses" is wrong but I couldn't find the reason or the supporting grammatical rules that explain why it is wrong.


1 Answer 1


You are only allowed one actual verb per clause -- only one word carries the tense. 'Is' and 'uses' are both verbs (present tense). 'Using' is a participle which can be used with a form of 'be' such as 'is' (present tense) to form the progressive aspect. 'Uses' would have to be used alone, forming the habitual present tense.

  • 1
    Peter uses and abuses a dictionary. That is two "actual verbs" in one clause. So, something in your explanation needs to be expanded on. Oct 7, 2018 at 8:15
  • That is two coordinated clauses. If we expand every detail then the gist is lost.
    – amI
    Oct 7, 2018 at 23:37

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