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I have doubts when it comes to deciding if I should use the Present Simple or the Present Continous tense. Below are the examples:

  1. I have worked for 4 companies so far. Now I work/I am working for X company. (I have been working for this company for 2 years.)
  2. As a programmer I have worked with several technologies, for example: X, Y. At my current company I work/I am working with the Z technology. (I have worked with this technology before.)

Could you help me to understand the difference?

2 Answers 2

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In both your example situations, both tenses could apply.

The difference generally between simple and continuous is that present simple implies that the situation is indefinite, whereas present continuous implies that the situation is temporary. In both cases, this is regardless of how long it's been happening.

For instance, one week after moving to Ottawa, Alice says, "I live in Ottawa now." This shows she intends this an indefinite move, and she now considers herself a permanent resident of Ottawa.

In contrast, Bob was born and raised in Ottawa and has never lived anywhere else, but he says, "I'm living in Ottawa". This suggests he sees it as a temporary situation, and plans to move somewhere else soon.

So as it applies to your two work situations, it's up to you to determine whether you believe the situation is going to change soon, or if this is the new normal.

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  • Thank you. There is one more doubt. Let's say I change my job once per two years. Recently, I have changed my job. Is it more my new reality, or I know that in 2 years I am going to change my job again, so it is temporary state?
    – w_ster
    Oct 16, 2022 at 6:26
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    @w_ster It's up to how you feel. To a six-year-old, two years is the end of time, so they would use simple present. To me in my 40s, two years is a bit longer than a weekend, so I'd use present continuous.
    – gotube
    Oct 16, 2022 at 16:20
  • One more thing. When it comes to second example, should I use present simple when I don't expect that this technology will change while working in this company? (Despite that I have worked with several other technologies im my whole career.)
    – w_ster
    Oct 17, 2022 at 21:04
  • @w_ster Same answer. If you want to indicate that this is temporary, use continuous, otherwise don't.
    – gotube
    Oct 18, 2022 at 6:02
  • Although the different tenses have different shades of meaning, you can use either, and nobody will think you're weird or wrong.
    – Stuart F
    Mar 20 at 10:38
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We use the present continuous tense (I am working) for a situation that we see as temporary.

We use the simple present tense (I work) for a situation that we see as permanent.

correct: 1. I am working. (...worked for 4 companies...temporary)

correct: 2. I am working. (...several technologies...temporary)

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