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The situation is that I asked a question with a short film here. The respondents commented according to the film with the sentences as follows.

1."The speaker (in the film) may not use a flap /t/ here because she's enunciating carefully, because..."

  1. "I think the reason that the fifth speaker (in the film) doesn't use the flap t is that she's speaking slowly and emphatically."

My question is why they use the present continuous tense to describe the speaker's action in the film. After checking when to use the present continuous tense, I found one of the rules at British Council Learning English, saying when to summarize a book, film or play. Is that the reason?

But, I also found the same rule to use the present simple tense at British Council Learning English as well. Therefore, can the sentences from the respondents above be changed to use the present simple? If they can, are there any differences between using the present simple and continuous?

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  • No idea of the grammatical rule here but I think the principle is that the speaking was going on for a period of time and occasionally she uttered a flap or non-flap t during the speaking. – mdewey Jun 2 at 12:38
  • Thank you, I can see those links. The reason why someone uses the Present Cont. instead of the Simple Present can't really be answered. Both forms are correct the first is talking about an action that is in PROGRESS at the time of speaking: “The speaker in the video is speaking slowly, he/she is carefully enunciating each word”. AND the second talks about FACTS: "The speaker speaks slowly, he/she enunciates carefully ...” They are both acceptable. My personal preference would be for the PC form because it is slightly more immediate and chattier than Simple Present. – Mari-Lou A Jun 2 at 13:38
  • @Mari-Lou A Thank you. But no meaning difference? – questionguy Jun 2 at 13:42
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The reason why someone uses the Present Continuous tense instead of the Simple Present can't really be answered. Both forms are correct, the first is talking about an action that is in PROGRESS at the time of speaking:

The speaker in the video is speaking slowly, he/she is enunciating carefully each word…

while the second form refers to FACTS

"The speaker in the video speaks slowly, he/she enunciates carefully ...”

They are both acceptable. My personal preference would be for the PC form only because it is slightly more immediate and chattier than Simple Present. People often used the continuous form when describing photos

That’s me wearing a white dress, standing shyly next to my uncle and aunt who are both smiling. It was the first time I had ever seen them, I was only 11 years old…

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