There are 2 examples.

1) I am visiting a psychologist. (but perhaps I am not visiting a psychologist at the time of speaking)

2) I visit a psychologist.

What is the difference between these 2 examples, if they are correct?

I ask because of this example:

Kate wants to work in Italy, so she’s learning Italian. (but perhaps she isn’t learning Italian at the time of speaking)

I would suggest an example to this sentence, but I guess Kate learns Italian. sounds a little strange. Help pls.


Present Continuous

I am visiting a psychologist.

This implies you're visiting a psychologist right now.

However, if you say I am visiting a psychologist today - it's totally correct since Present Continuous should be used for future events along with time adverb. Please read more in Collins Dictionary here

Another use case for Present Continuous is:

a temporary activity, even if it is not happening at the time when we are talking.

Obviously, you can use I'm visiting a psychologist in this context too. For example, here's a quote from Financial Times:

“I’m seeing a psychologist because I can’t sleep,” she said.

She implies it will take some time before she can sleep again (she will be seeing a doctor during this period of time). Then, she will probably stop seeing a psychologist.

Present Simple

I visit a psychologist.

This implies that you visit a psychologist regularly.

If you say I visit a psychologist at 3:00 PM today - you plan to visit a psychologist based on your previous arrangement.

  • And what's about the 2nd paragraph? A temporary activity, even if it is not happening at the time when we are talkin. – ProstoCoder Feb 6 '20 at 12:57
  • @ProstoCoder that's a good question. I think you use Present Simple in the second case because it's part of your schedule but you may not be determined to fulfill it. However, if you say I'm visiting a psychologist, it implies you're determined to see him and you will do so. – Anatolii Feb 6 '20 at 14:29
  • I think you misunderstood me. I guess you talked about arrangements for future events. When I'm telling "I am visiting a psychologist." I want to tell to somebody about this like a temporary activity that is not happening at the time when we are talking. Is such an example possible? – ProstoCoder Feb 7 '20 at 12:45
  • @ProstoCoder You can. I edited my answer. – Anatolii Feb 7 '20 at 16:48
  • 1
    Thank you very much, Anatolii! – ProstoCoder Feb 7 '20 at 17:03

There're multiple usages of Present Continuous Tense: 1. Something you're doing RIGHT NOW: e.g. I'm watching TV. 2. (Extremely) Near future: e.g. I'm visiting a museum this afternoon. I'm coming. 3. Habituals, recurring events with the emphasis on its CURRENT implementation: e.g. I'm studying French. Obviously, different verbs prefer different interpretations. Usage 1 is default interpretation, and Usage 2 & 3 generally need extra adverb/context to help interpretation, or are simply idiomatic (as in "I'm coming").

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