David is not very fit. He does not do any sport.


David is not very fit. He is not doing any sport.

Which is grammatically correct? What is the difference in meaning?

closed as off-topic by choster, shin, Katy, Chenmunka, Andrew Jun 25 at 18:36

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  • 1
    They are both grammatically correct. What do you think the meaning of each is? – Mick Jun 20 at 12:14
  • I thought that the first one was quite correct. But the second one might lack casual link between to sentences. David is not very fit. He has not been doing any sport. This one sounds better for me. – Sergei Jun 20 at 14:19
  • The difference between He hasn't been doing any sport and He isn't doing any sport is that the past perfect progressive form tends to imply until now. Which would make it more suitable if you were at the side of the school football pitch discussing why your son isn't playing very well compared to the others - at which time he obviously is "doing sport", but that's a new situation that's only just changed. – FumbleFingers Jun 20 at 14:27
  • If I am not mistaken, "hasn't been doing" is present perfect progressive. And according to grammarly.com "The present perfect continuous tense (also known as the present perfect progressive tense) shows that something started in the past and is continuing at the present time." That's why I thought it might be suitable in aforementioned situation if we imply that David used to do some sport in the past. – Sergei Jun 20 at 15:14
  • Why didn't you point out in the question that you thought [Present Perfect Progressive] might ... imply that David used to do some sport in the past. That's absolutely true, but Present Perfect Progressive would be He has not been doing any sport. Your example #2 is just Present Progressive (it's not a "perfect" verb form). If you'd explained what you thought you knew (effectively, and why you thought that), it would have been easier to explain where you'd gone wrong. – FumbleFingers Jun 20 at 15:29

Both verb forms (to do, to be doing) are syntactically fine, but most native speakers1 would normally assume a difference in meaning...

1: He does not do any sport
Quite possibly he never engaged in sporting activities. The speaker is probably identifying what he sees as a permanent characteristic of the subject (he's just not "the sporting type").

2: He is not doing any sport
The progressive verb form strongly implies a temporary situation. Although he's not currently engaged in sports, he used to and/or perhaps will be doing so at other times.

1 I believe speakers of "Indian English" do not make this distinction, and are in fact likely to use the continuous verb form (#2) for both senses. Which is fine when interacting with other IE speakers, but such "overuse" of continuous verb forms will usually be noticed by "mainstream" Anglophones.

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