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Woman: What the hell happened to you?

Man: I was in a fight.

Woman: You're fighting now?

Is the last statement natural? She is surprised that he was in a fight, which he has never been before. She's not asking if he's fighting NOW, but just if he's started fighting now? Does it make sense?

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  • It does make sense, in this way, which I think you have already understood - that the man may have used certain options to express himself till now, that they did not include fighting, and that a change has taken place and fighting is now one of those options. – user114352 May 5 '20 at 17:08
  • Now, in context, can mean either at this very moment or at this general point in time of [your life / the world]. – Jason Bassford May 5 '20 at 17:19
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Yes, it does make sense. To paraphrase what the woman said, she is asking the man if fighting is something he started doing recently, expressing disbelief at this new information.

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While it does make sense, I will consider it a poor way to convey her message. Writing or speaking should aim at communicating effectively. When you have ambiguous meanings like that, it generally will be classified as less effective unless there's a pun buried somewhere or that double meaning served some specific purpose (including intangible ones, such as expressing one's emotions). I generally cannot see that here and I felt it could easily have been said differently with a much higher degree of clarity.

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  • Okay? Why downvote without explanation? I explained that it makes sense but it's not effective because it is open to interpretation. Anything wrong about that? – Isa May 14 '20 at 22:33
  • And if you want me to be honest, I don't think it's natural. It's so context dependent that an assessment of saying yes is such a stretch that can mislead people to think that it's acceptable to say that without better description of surrounding contextual constraints. – Isa May 14 '20 at 22:38

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