Let's say you need to get to some destination, but you don't know the exact route to that destination. I've sometimes heard people say

we're trying to figure it out as we go

Why is present simple used to say "we go", instead of present continuos "we're going"? Wouldn't it be more correct to say:

we're trying to figure it out as we're going

because it is said about the specific time, it is not meant "we go" in general?

1 Answer 1


No, is the simple answer.

The conventional construction is to do this as we do that, not "as we are doing that".

So you will hear expressions such as:
sing as we work
listen as the birds call
take care as you climb
think as you proceed

It would be correct to say as you are doing whatever** but it is not idiomatic. People don't talk like that.

  • Thanks, but all your examples are using present simple for both "do this" and "do that". My question is about the phrase which begins with using the present continuous tense "we're trying to figure it out", but ends using the simple present tense "as we go". This is what the question is about.
    – Daniel
    Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 18:17

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