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As far as I know, the simple present is used to state facts, how things exist or behave. However, I have seen the following sentence:

  • I walk to class during the week.

Regarding that the present continuous is used to describe actions happening temporarily, I wonder whether we should not use the present continuous in the sentence as follows:

  • I am walking to class during the week.

2 Answers 2

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I walk to class during the week.

This is a fact, not a temporal action. "During the week" means each week, probably Monday to Friday (though local context might change this) It include this week, last week, next week, the first week in November, every week forwards and backwards in time.

So it isn't about a temporary action.

Note that you could truthfully say "I walk to class during the week" both on Wednesday and on Sunday. It remains permanently true.

However, if you say

I'm walking to class this week.

It is limited to one week, so is temporary, and the present continuous should be used.

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  • Thanks for your answer. So, why is the definite article "the" used before "week" in such a situation?
    – Later
    Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 9:44
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    I'm understanding that as a "generic the" like "The tiger is the largest cat in the world"
    – James K
    Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 10:05
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During the week simply marks when the action of walking is performed. It does not indicate whether the action is temporary or not.

I walk to class during the week.

states that the person walks to class during the week every week. This is a general statement that is true every week, so it is not a temporary action. If you say

I am walking to class during the week.

the meaning is changed. The sentence now states that you are temporarily walking to class during the week and although a particular period is not expressed, it is implied (e.g. this year, this semester, etc).

There would be a possibility to say

I am walking to class (during) this week.

to mean that this action lasts for one week only.

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  • Thanks for your answer. So, why is the definite article "the" used before "week" in such a situation?
    – Later
    Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 9:57
  • To express a typical action. This thread might help you.
    – fev
    Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 9:59

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