The sentences are from "English Grammar Practice" by L.G. Alexaner.

In this exercise according to the book's answer key only "are coming" and "are asking" are correct in #7 but both the present simple and continuous are correct in #9.

  1. "People are always coming in and asking me to help them".

Isn't it also correct to say "People always come in and ask me to help them"?

In #9. "I am enjoying (or enjoy) the job and I am finding it very amusing.

If the person is currently enjoying her new job if this is a current situation most books say only "present progressive" works. Sentence #9 the book says both are correct: "I am enjoying (or enjoy) the job and I am finding it very amusing."

In the same exercise it says "I am missing you" and "I miss you" are both correct but it doesn't say "find" is correct in "My colleagues are always finding things in books." The text is about a librarian and it describes strange things people use as bookmarks.

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    I don't know why you think most books say only "present progressive" works for your second example. Simple Present and Progressive are both perfectly okay (as is a mixture of both, in either sequence), and I'd be prepared to bet money (not that it could ever be definitively resolved) that Simple Present would be significantly more common. Both verb forms are also fine for the first example, and any teaching aid that says different isn't worth your time and attention. It's almost always just a stylistic choice in such contexts. Feb 15, 2021 at 12:20
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    I don't think My colleagues are always finding things in books is a good example to illustrate a very subtle distinction in this area. But compare Simple Present My son always finds dirty pictures in my monthly copy of National Geographic to the Continuous version My son is always finding... In that context, there's no doubt that the first one primarily asserts that he never fails to find any dirty pictures, whereas the second one simply asserts that finding such dirty pictures is something he often does (but he might not find every dirty picture! :) Feb 15, 2021 at 12:42
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    to find means to successfully look for something. It makes no difference whatsoever if you "delete" the "predictably repeated" subject + verb + adverb or not, in something like People are always coming in and people are always asking me to help them (well, it makes no difference to the meaning - but in practice we usually avoid pointlessly repeating so many obviously predictable words, so it's actually a bit "odd" to do so). In your "plumber + electricians + ..." context, they're different subjects so you have to say them, but you can in principle delete the verbs are + is Feb 15, 2021 at 18:50
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    (It doesn't matter that are and is aren't exactly the same. It's enough that they're both just "tensed" forms of the verb TO BE.) Feb 15, 2021 at 18:51
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    The main difference is that if I say I live in England, it tends to imply I've always lived there (I'm describing a "timeless" state). But if I say I am living in England (a little unlikely without a time-based adverbial element such as currently) that would very strongly imply I have also lived elsewhere (or perhaps simply that I expect to do so in the future). Feb 16, 2021 at 12:25

1 Answer 1


We use Present Progressive to complain, to express annoyance or any other negative emotion/feeling.

[Oh, these annoying] people are always coming in and asking me to help them. [I just can't focus on my work.]

Grammar exercises usually have hints to help you identify the correct tense. In this case, it's "always". Along with "continually", "constantly", it's used to stress a point.

He is constantly leaving dirty clothes in the bathroom.

He’s always hogging the computer.

The Present Simple sentence

People always come in and ask me to help them.

is grammatically fine, but it carries a different meaning, as in describing your routine in the office, or your responsibilities. I also find "always" in there a bit unnatural.

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