I’ve found some examples (provided by native speakers of English) of using The Present Simple where according to all the grammars I’ve read The Present Progressive should have been used. Could you please explain how it is possible? I’ll give the examples below, but now I should say I’ve formed my own hypothesis: this use is old-fashioned, and it is applied:
– by the speaker to sound more dramatic, old-fashioned because such an effect might be used for joking, mockery, playing the fool or to be extremely formal;
– by the speaker/author as fixed expressions which were formed according to the grammar rules of more ancient English but have survived in contemporary English because they sound very good;
– by the speaker/author to mock the speech of foreigners who use the verb tenses incorrectly;
– by the author when he wants to underline that his character speaking like that is very old or lives in previous centuries.
But I’m absolutely not sure about it. I’d be extremely grateful to you if you gave me the right answer. Thank you in advance! The examples are:
- ‘You lie!’ It was said by an American politician Joe Wilson to President Obama when Mr Obama was explaining some details of a reform. ‘You’re lying’ should be ‘correct’. The link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Wilson_(American_politician)#%22You_lie!%22_outburst_during_Obama_address I suppose Joe Wilson wanted to sound dramatic.
- In the fan fiction book ‘Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality’ by E. Yudkowsky: "Father," Draco said in a small voice. "I think you should consider it, father." Lucius Malfoy looked at his son. "You jest." The ‘correct’ verb form would be ‘are jesting’. But the author is an American. The link: https://www.hpmor.com/chapter/97 . I think the author wanted to underline the noble blood and arrogance of L.Malfoy letting him say like this.
- In the same book: "You know it's actually getting rather late in the day and I'm a bit hungry, so I should be going down to dinner, really" and Harry made a beeline for the door. The doorknob entirely failed to turn. "You wound me, Harry," said Dumbledore's voice in quiet tones that were coming from right behind him. "Do you not at least realise that what I have told you is a sign of trust?" ‘Are wounding me’ is supposed to be the right form… The link: https://www.hpmor.com/chapter/17 I think ‘you wound me’ is a fixed expression.
- The video game ‘Devil May Cry 3’ (a usual game, like many others, not concerned with theatre at all), the 2nd cutscene of the mission 6. A man appears in front of a heavily armed girl. The girl points a gun at him. The man says (with the BBC accent), ‘You point a gun at me? Your own kin?’ The girl shoots. The man teleports to the ceiling above her head. ‘You break my heart!’ he says. The link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLQJz860YGs I think the man wanted to sound arrogant and dramatic, so he didn’t use ‘are pointing’ and ‘are breaking’.