There’s a Funky Frankenstein tape so I’m assuming anything else that was in that package is here.

why the progressive here, first reason is that it is happening right now but does the progressive imply that it is only a strong possibility not 100 per cent sure instead of "I assume" which is stronger more as a fact

my question is different because only one person is invoved, the writer and he is not starting doing something

  • I'm confused. Are you stating that "assume" is factually stronger than "assuming"?
    – Varun Nair
    Apr 3, 2019 at 9:52
  • after re reading the answer i really think that " am assuming " is neutral less strong than assume may be more polite . Am I right?
    – Yves Lefol
    Apr 3, 2019 at 12:10
  • I consider this a distinct question largely because the answer on the other question is rather specific to the particular case.
    – SamBC
    Apr 3, 2019 at 12:21

1 Answer 1


In general, for verb that represent actual physical actions, there's a degree of semantic difference between the present progressive and the present simple.

I run to school.

This is a statement of general truth; the person saying it is asserting that they are in the habit of getting to school by running.

I'm running to school.

This is a more precise statement; either they are saying that right now they are running to school, or they are using it as a progressive form of the futurate, as in "I can't give you a lift in tomorrow, I'm running to school".

(There are some other possibilities for both, such as the historical present, but they are not worth concerning ourselves with here.)

However, when it's a stative verb or a verb of mental action, the difference is less clear. In some cases, it will become relevant, but most of the time there's no clear and definite semantic difference between the two. For example,

I hope it doesn't rain.
I'm hoping it doesn't rain.

No clear difference whatsoever. It's a matter of personal style, sometimes in a specific case there will be a difference in nuance, and it's likely that which is used more often is heavily dependent on dialect. In the specific case you give, I would read a small difference in nuance; I am assuming suggests to me that the person has just reached the conclusion and it is still tentative, inviting contradiction, while I assume would mean they feel that the assumption is safer. However, my reading it that way might be to do with the dialects that I've grown up with.

  • I would read "I assume" as "I am in the habit of assuming this" and the other one as "I have, in this moment, decided to assume this" but yes, it it a nuance thing.
    – Borgh
    Apr 3, 2019 at 12:33
  • @Borgh: I wouldn't see "I assume", in the context of the OP, as being a general statement, because it's being used in a very, very specific case. It might be taken to be "I assume, as it is natural that anyone would do so".
    – SamBC
    Apr 3, 2019 at 12:37
  • What a good answer , thanks SamBC
    – Yves Lefol
    Apr 3, 2019 at 13:11

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