A student out of the audience asks something similar to a question a lecturer answered previously in a dialogue with another student. What can the lecturer say in responce in this situation? Of course, I'm asking about idiomatic and colloquial phrases. Should the lecturer give the answer in the present simple or in the present continuous?

The same [that I said before] is referring to your question too.

What I said 5 minutes ago applies to your question too.

I also consider possibility of using verbs 'belong', 'concern', etc. Could you suggest something appropriate for this type of situations?

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    I would use the present simple, "applies". "What I said 5 minutes ago applies to your question too." Or "could be applied to ..", or "is applicable". Feb 9, 2015 at 19:10
  • What I said 5 minutes ago is [being] applied to your question too. - this is actually the Passive Voice, and depicts a situation in which something is being actively applied (by someone) to your question "this very moment". A strange situation. (0: Feb 9, 2015 at 19:15
  • "How do you know that his answer would be applied to this question in a week?" - A good question! I need to think about this. Still "my answer is applying to your question too" would look outlandish. Feb 9, 2015 at 19:27
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    I tried to format your question to make it more understandable. What is your main concern? To pick the right verb? Or to select between simple present / progressive? Feb 9, 2015 at 19:33
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    'apply' is never used in present continuous like this. We say 'conditions apply' and not "conditions are applying".
    – Leo
    Feb 9, 2015 at 19:34

1 Answer 1


Use something like:

1: "What I said 5 minutes ago applies to your question too."

2: "What I said five minutes ago answers this question."

3: "I thought I answered that five minutes ago -- can you point me to where I need to clarify?"

  • thanks. Do you think the construction 'is being applied' is incorrect? Is it impossible to use the passive voice in the present continuous here?
    – user11470
    Feb 9, 2015 at 20:06
  • "is being applied" means that it is right now in the process of being applied. So no, it would not be correct unless it's happening even as you speak. There are situation where that construction would work (e.g., "your car is being treated with the same process that I described 5 minutes ago, sir"), but this sentence is not one of them.
    – A.Beth
    Feb 9, 2015 at 20:08
  • I'd vote for no. 3...
    – Stephie
    Feb 9, 2015 at 20:53

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