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46 votes

What is the difference between "I still use" vs "I am still using" in this sentence?

With the "It's 2018" clause, both mean more or less the same thing (as Neil says). But without that clause to clarify, the implication would be quite different. I still use this phone would be ...
Muzer's user avatar
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38 votes
Accepted

Why do native speakers use the present continuous tense when talking about people in a picture? Why not the past continuous tense?

You can use the past tense, if you are talking about what the person who was photographed was doing. But normally, when you look at a picture you describe the things in the picture in the present ...
Jason Bassford's user avatar
38 votes

Difference between continuous and simple

Watch out. The answer is going to be far more complicated than you ever expected, but once you understand it, you will understand something very important about English grammar. This year Both ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
  • 27.6k
31 votes
Accepted

I ___(to read) your book. It's fantastic. I'll finish it tonight

The verb read has two different pronunciations, its present simple form /riːd/ and its past simple form /red/. Neither tense belongs to the sample sentence a) I read your book [at the moment]. It's ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
  • 27.2k
20 votes
Accepted

Is the present continuous idiomatic in "I'm liking to take it easy on the weekend"?

If you just started relaxing on your weekends and are enjoying it, you might say, "I'm liking taking it easy on the weekends". The only context in which you'd use this form is one where you'...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
19 votes

Why does the present continuous form of "mimic" become "mimicking"?

It's a standard spelling change. Verbs ending in c form their present particle as -cking. This helps the pronunciation, as c at the end of a word is normally "hard" (pronounced like k) but ...
James K's user avatar
  • 220k
18 votes

Why do native speakers sometimes use present continuous when it seems like it should be present simple?

The only one that sounds unidiomatic to me is "you're just having the right plan". That sounds more like how a speaker of Indian English would use the present continuous. But we would say &...
TimR on some device's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between "I am going home" and "I go home"?

Good question! While they seem like they ought to mean similar things, the present continuous and present simple tend to be used in different situations. The present continuous is used for the ...
Katy's user avatar
  • 11k
16 votes

What is the difference between "I still use" vs "I am still using" in this sentence?

One is simple present tense while the other is present continuous. Use simple present whenever you want to indicate something you do frequently. Every friday, I go to the mall. Use present ...
Neil's user avatar
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16 votes
Accepted

What is the difference in meaning between "I think" and "I am thinking" in the sense of having an opinion?

Verbs of inner state, unlike most verbs, do not normally take the progressive in English. So I think (I feel, I believe) are the ordinary unmarked forms. When they are used with the progressive, ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
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16 votes
Accepted

"You can sleep while I drive" vs. "you can sleep while I am driving"

It'll take us four hours to get to the coast, so you can sleep while I drive. Here, while can (but does not necessarily have to) mean whereas. If said alone without more context, I would interpret ...
xngtng's user avatar
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16 votes
Accepted

What grammar should I use to talk about an action I've been doing for a long time and will definitely keep doing?

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 &...
gotube's user avatar
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15 votes

Why do native speakers use the present continuous tense when talking about people in a picture? Why not the past continuous tense?

When describing what is present in the picture we tend to use present tense: That is granddad. He is wearing a hat. The continuous form is used, although it might not be "logical", at any rate we ...
James K's user avatar
  • 220k
15 votes

"You can sleep while I drive" vs. "you can sleep while I am driving"

As has been pointed out, in some contexts, while can mean whereas / on the other hand / contrariwise. But no native speaker would interpret OP's cited example like that without a couple more words to ...
FumbleFingers's user avatar
14 votes

"I was locked in an elevator for five hours" vs. "I have been locked for five hours"

If you are relating an incident which started and finished sometime in the past with no present relevance, then you would not use the present perfect. So, I was locked in the elevator for five hours ...
Shoe's user avatar
  • 3,015
13 votes

Are you not planning going to the pub this evening

We can express intention more simply: Are you going to the pub tonight? If you want to use "planning": Are you planning on going to the pub tonight? Are you planning to go to the pub ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 125k
13 votes
Accepted

Why do native speakers sometimes use present continuous when it seems like it should be present simple?

As the Original Poster expected some of these are indeed mistakes. For example: It's really important to make sure that you're just having the right plan. We don't use the present continuous with ...
Araucaria - Not here any more.'s user avatar
12 votes

What is the difference between "I still use" vs "I am still using" in this sentence?

As you may know, the simple present tense is used for natural, repeating, or habitual activities. The present continuous is used for current and ongoing activities, things that are in progress. In ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 88.3k
12 votes
Accepted

Why did the writer use present simple instead of continuous

It helps to give the context surrounding the quote and a link to the text. After some googling, I found this script for The Importance of Being Earnest: JACK. Do you mean to say you have had my ...
Acccumulation's user avatar
12 votes

Is the present continuous idiomatic in "I'm liking to take it easy on the weekend"?

From what you describe, I think most of the answers are not really conveying what you seek. I'd suggest instead: "I've been enjoying taking it easy on the weekend." which (at least around ...
Glen_b's user avatar
  • 514
11 votes

Is "You are influencing your negative behavior over me" grammatically well-formed and natural-sounding to native speakers?

The sentence as provided is incorrect. While your rephrasing is grammatically right, it's still a little awkward. I would say either "your behavior has a negative influence on me" or simply "you are ...
francois young's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Use of simple present and present continuous in subtitles for background sound

The effect is basically to distinguish a point in time from a span of time. A siren wails (once); an engine is revving (for some time). However, in practice, the real situations referred to can easily ...
Luke Sawczak's user avatar
  • 12.9k
10 votes

double linking verb "be"

The present continuous sense in that case is used to emphasize the fact that right at the moment of speaking she treats me nicely, even though at other times she and I might not like each other. For ...
Gerry's user avatar
  • 549
10 votes

What is the difference between "I am going home" and "I go home"?

You use the present simple… …to state facts or general truths. : Hair grows. …to express habits or customs: I usually go home at 6 o'clock. …to describe a course of action: First I have ...
re_nez's user avatar
  • 527
9 votes

What is the difference in meaning between "I think" and "I am thinking" in the sense of having an opinion?

We often prefer to use the present simple rather than the present continuous with verbs describing states such as “think”, “agree”, “hope”, “know”, “look”, etc. However, we can use the present ...
Prince ßádhWoloski's user avatar
9 votes

be picking up the phone

It means 'about to', but the point of the expression includes what John is doing now not just what he will do. John is engaged in 'picking up the phone activity'... ie he has gotten up from his chair, ...
Vaughn Ohlman's user avatar
9 votes

Why do native speakers sometimes use present continuous when it seems like it should be present simple?

Some of these are mistakes - people make mistakes all the time, especially when speaking or when writing in a careless way. Others are quite acceptable: You can still make progress if you're going to ...
James K's user avatar
  • 220k
8 votes

Are you not planning going to the pub this evening

You can use the present continuous or the present simple here: Aren't you planning to go to the pub this evening? Don't you plan to go to the pub this evening? Both of these questions are ...
Araucaria - Not here any more.'s user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

"Everybody Have a Good Time" - an ungrammatical song title/text?

Have in this case is an imperative, expressed with the same plain form as the infinitive: the singer is not saying that everybody is having a good time but calling on everybody to have a good time.
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
8 votes

Correct use of "is having"

Remember: the main reason we use the present continuous is to show that something is happening at the present moment. Also we need to remember that some verbs are not used in the continuous tense. ...
lina's user avatar
  • 150

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