6

What grammar should I use if I want to talk about a routine action (something like "running, biking, wrestling, bowling") that I have been doing for a long time and will definitely go on doing in the future too?

I'm wrestling

I do wrestling

Is there any difference between them. And if there isn't, which one is preferable? Thanks for your help🙏🏻

Note

Present continuous: Something started in the past but haven't finished yet. It can be a long process like (learning a language). We can use some periods with present continuous like (today, this week, this year, etc).

Simple present: Mentions something in general, fact, something happeds all the time and repeatedly, how often we do things like (everyday, every morning, etc), premanent situations like (my parents live in Canada).

4
  • 7
    You can say "I wrestle", "I go biking", "I play football" etc. Oct 25, 2023 at 17:14
  • 2
    Or, you could also say "I have been wrestling", etc. This gives you an emphasis on the past history while it also implies that you haven't stopped doing that either.
    – wintermute
    Oct 26, 2023 at 17:42
  • @RobbieGoodwin "I do wrestling" isn't simply wrong. It's reasonable and intelligible in some circumstances. example: "What do you do on saturdays after school?" "I do wrestling."
    – barbecue
    Oct 26, 2023 at 22:17
  • @Robbie Goodwin - "what do you do for extra-curriculars?" "I do wrestling and chess club" Oct 27, 2023 at 0:32

5 Answers 5

16

Present continuous always carries the feeling of being temporary, and usually for a short time only.

Present continuous is also commonly used with a few verbs that may take a very long time, like "study" and "learn", but part of the meaning of those words is that they will eventually end, and are not a permanent condition.

So "I'm wrestling" sounds like either you are actually in a wrestling match at the moment, or it's an activity you're doing regularly these days, but with no plan to do it indefinitely.

Simple present, on the other hand, describes something that's a normal, regular part of your life that will continue indefinitely, which I believe is the meaning you want.

So "I wrestle" is correct.

6

'I'm wrestling' wouldn't sound right in most contexts because the present continuous makes it sound like you are actually taking part in the activity at that precise moment. But there are some idiomatic expressions where you might say it that way. If someone is known to regularly take part in the sport, one might ask them "are you still wrestling?" and they might answer in kind "yes, I'm still wrestling".

"I wrestle" is an idiomatic way of saying that you regularly wrestle. Note that, while wrestling is a well-known sport, relatively few people take part in it compared to many other sports, and so "I wrestle" has the potential to be misunderstood if it wasn't already clear from the context that you were talking about sport, as 'to wrestle' also means to struggle.

Perhaps the most unambiguous way to say you do the sport might be to say "I'm a wrestler".

5
  • Although in some contexts, "I'm a wrestler" would mean that it's your profession.
    – Barmar
    Oct 26, 2023 at 15:10
  • @Barmar that is true, and I did think to include it but felt it was a bit far from the original question. After all, that issue is true of almost anything, eg I'm a pianist.
    – Astralbee
    Oct 26, 2023 at 18:43
  • True, but you did bring up the alternate sense of "wrestle". Usually the struggle meaning is followed by "with X"
    – Barmar
    Oct 26, 2023 at 18:55
  • 1
    @Barmar usually but not always. The word 'struggle' isn't always followed by a cause. If someone said "I'm struggling right now" you'd either look to see if they had an immediate, physical struggle or assume they meant generally, with life. I wholeheartedly disagree with the chosen answer - it's just what the OP wanted to hear. If we all told English language learners that their guesses were correct they'd choose us. A lot just want to tell their English teachers they know better than them.
    – Astralbee
    Oct 26, 2023 at 19:03
  • "I'm wrestling right now" seems like common than "I'm struggling right now". I feel like it would often be "I'm wrestigling with it right now." But either way, the context will usually make it clear, unless the question were "What sport do you enjoy?" And anyone who answers that with "I'm wrestling" is asking to be misunderstood.
    – Barmar
    Oct 26, 2023 at 19:05
1

There's absolutely nothing wrong with saying "I do wrestling" as a way of saying that you engage in the activity of wrestling on a regular basis.

It's commonly said in response to a prompt, such as when answering a question, or when describing yourself to someone. It's very commonly used by students and athletes when describing their activities.

Jamie: "Hey Sandy, what do you do to relieve stress after work?"

Sandy: "I do wrestling down at the Sweaty Gloves Gym on 3rd street. I also do some BJJ and a little kickboxing now and then."

Jamie: "Cool! I'm into BJJ as well, we should get together and do some sparring next week!"

Saying "I do wrestling" or "I will do wrestling" or "I plan to do wrestling" or similar variations carries the connotation that you will be doing this activity in a structured group activity, school athletic program, amateur league, or in some countries, as a professional athlete. (Note that in the US, professional wrestling is not the professional tier of amateur wrestling, but a highly scripted form of athletic entertainment which bears little resemblance to the wrestling matches you'd see in a school.)

Other examples of "I do" in this manner include "I do macrame", "I do yardwork", "I do Crossfit®" and "I do ballroom dancing." All of these mean that you engage in the activity on some sort of ongoing basis, often in a structured, scheduled manner, possibly as part of a group.

What do you do for fun?

I do [X]* where X is the name of some activity that you do for fun.

When you say "I do [X]" in response to someone asking you what you do, it is perfectly clear and understandable to any native English speaker, especially in the US.

Saying other phrases such as "I enjoy wrestling" or "I like wrestling" or I'm into wrestling" do not carry the same connotation of active participation, and could imply that you enjoy watching it, reading about it, collecting memorabilia, etc.

Note: I am not saying that this is the only correct response, everyone familiar with English knows there are many ways to say everything. I'm just saying it's not wrong, and is perfectly reasonable to use.

1
0

A simple present indicates that it's an activity you engage in regularly:

I wrestle.

I bowl.

I hike.

Or you can state it with a noun:

I'm a wrestler.

I'm a bowler.

I'm a hiker.

Or you can state it with "I like to ...":

I like to wrestle.

I like to bowl.

I like to hike.

2
  • 2
    Although some long-term activities aren't enjoyed: I mine coal, I'm a coal miner, but not I like coal mining. Oct 26, 2023 at 3:45
  • @dave_thompson_085 But coal mining is an occupation not an "activity" in the sense of hobby or avocation. We don't call lawyering or accounting "activities". Oct 26, 2023 at 10:10
-1

You might well say something like "I've always gone in for wrestling" or "I've always been a keen wrestler". It doesn't necessarily imply that you enjoy it: "I've always helped out with cutting the grass in the churchyard." The "always" suggests an expectation that you're likely to continue, unless otherwise specified: "I've always gone in for wrestling, but since Mary got injured, I'm thinking of giving it up."

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .