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I was very lucky the first time I played tennis. I won the first four games and was beginning the fifth when the man I was playing against said with a shouting voice "I stop playing against you. You are winning all the time. It is not possible to be so lucky."

In this sentence all the time refers to the time I was playing, so progressive should be correct — but if all the time referred to a behavior, then would the simple present be better than the progressive one?

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  • "Said with a shouting voice" = "shouted" or "said loudly". Jun 18, 2023 at 15:51

2 Answers 2

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The present progressive is correct here, but not because you were playing at that moment. There's another function of present continuous here, which is to express annoyance at a repeated event. It's often used with "always":

My sister is always borrowing my clothes without asking!

This indicates something that happens regularly, which is normally indicated with present simple. But to add a feeling of irritation or annoyance, you can use present progressive.

The man you were playing with was annoyed at something that happened repeatedly.

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The whole meaning is a bit off. "All the time" doesn't mean "today", it means "forever". You have won four matches this morning - does your opponent mean that you have never lost a game and never will? No, they are saying that you are playing very strongly (or very luckily) today, and present continuous is a good choice, but paired with a different time phrase:

You're winning everything this morning!

("I stop" is the wrong tense though.)

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  • yes I will stop is better , thought I chose future but did not
    – Yves Lefol
    Jun 18, 2023 at 7:24
  • even better is "going to stop" since it is a future that results directly from the present. And in speech, everything would be contracted "I'm gonna stop".. "It's not possible" or "It ain't possible".
    – James K
    Jun 18, 2023 at 7:25
  • but it is also an instant decision , the opponent did not to plan to stop the match before it is finished
    – Yves Lefol
    Jun 18, 2023 at 7:36
  • "Going to" doesn't mean plan.
    – James K
    Jun 18, 2023 at 7:40
  • Going to tends to be used about events that were previously decided
    – Yves Lefol
    Jun 18, 2023 at 12:44

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