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 ...
  • 900
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 ...
37 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 ...
  • 27.2k
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 ...
  • 10.9k
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, ...
  • 70.2k
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 ...
  • 615
15 votes

I am writing this letter or I write this letter

In a context like this there is no substantive difference between the simple present and the progressive present: both designate a current activity. In Present-day English, however, the simple ...
15 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 ...
  • 1,947
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 ...
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 ...
  • 2,933
13 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 ...
  • 171k
12 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to use 'present continuous' to give an instruction?

It is possible to use the present progressive (present continuous) tense to give instructions, but not in the ordinary sense. Instead, when we use the present continuous to give instructions, we do ...
  • 9,937
12 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 ...
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 ...
  • 87.4k
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 527
9 votes
Accepted

"am + having" in one sentence

Have is one of the verbs that can be stative or active depending on their meaning. If I have a car or a house or a project, then I am trying to say that they belong to me, in which case have ...
  • 2,780
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 ...
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, ...
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.
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. ...
  • 140
7 votes
Accepted

How many years do you live there vs How many years are you living there

We would say, "how long have you lived there?" (present perfect; began in the past and continues) Or, "how long has your family lived there?" We might say "How many years have you lived here?" if ...
  • 948
7 votes
Accepted

I {haven't seen / didn't see / am not seeing} Kumar this week

If this is from an exam or class exercise you may point out to your teacher that any of the options may be correct. I haven't seen Kumar this week. —As you say, this speaks to the current state of ...
7 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 ...
7 votes

Correct use of "is having"

You don't use the word have as a main verb in the progressive to talk about things you own or possess. So the correct sentence is: He has a cell phone. However, you can use it in the progressive if ...
  • 26.8k
7 votes
Accepted

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

The first sentence is grammatically impeccable. But grammatically correct sentences can be as nonsensical as this one is. Apparently, someone (the addressee) is in the process of having an influence ...
  • 354
7 votes

Difference between continuous and simple

It is a strange question to ask. Punishments are not usually set to a calendar. Parents don't normally say "This year we will punish you by...." Both are grammatical and mean almost the ...
  • 171k
6 votes

Can I say "the colors are ranging from green to red"?

Because the map is static and the meaning of the colors will remain as they are currently, I would use the simple present: The map is a Mercator projection of the world. The countries' colors range ...
  • 11.8k

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