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Hi! Could you please help me with this?:)

Consider the following pairs of sentences and decide whether they are all fully acceptable.
Point out the sentences that you consider to be unacceptable and explain why. 
Comment on differences of meaning in pairs where you find that both are acceptable.
(1a) Do you normally walk to work?
(b) Are you normally walking to work?

(2a) Who is sitting in the sofa over there?
(b) Who sits in the sofa over there?

(3a) The moon revolves around the earth, doesn’t it?
(b) The moon is revolving around the earth, isn’t it?

(4a) Who has painted your house?
(b) Who has been painting your house?

(5a) She must see Professor Smith.
(b) She must be seeing Professor Smith.
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We don't do students' homework here. What are your answers?

CB
It was worth a try:) Here are my answers

I am really unsure about nr. 2. sitting v. sits

1. Sentence A is a normal question of interest. Someone is asking somebody whether or not he or she walks to work on a regular basis.
Sentence B is not fully acceptable, this is because it sounds like the person is asking someone if their walk is normal or if they walk in any other peculiar way, it is not completely wrong but highly unusual

2. Sentence A is a question of whom the person in the sofa, for example on the other side of the room, is. This is present progressive; the person is sitting there at that moment.
Sentence B is also acceptable, but it is more a question asking about who usually sits over there. The tense is present.

3.Sentence A is a question about facts, confirming that it is the moon that revolves around the earth and not vice versa.
Sentence B is also acceptable, but quite disturbing. It is a question to check that the moon has not stopped revolving.

4.Sentence A is a question of interest. Who did the painting job, maybe he or she wants to hire them.
In sentence B it sounds more like someone have been painting parts of somebody’s house, perhaps tagged or such things, and the one who asked have not seen it before.

5. Both sentences are fully acceptable.
Sentence A is a request or an urge to see Professor Smith and get his assistance.
Sentence B is an assumption, or a conclusion from thinking: she is not here, she must be seeing Professor Smith.
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Andrea, you've got a pretty good grasp of these things! Some of your explanations are very good. I'll give you mine.
Andrea90(1a) Do you normally walk to work?
(b) Are you normally walking to work?
The simple tenses (do you walk) are used for habitual action, so 1a is the right question. If normally were omitted from 1b, it would be acceptable in a situation in which a person sees his friend walking down a street and wants to know whether he is going to work on foot. He usually goes there by bus, by tram or drives his own car, perhaps. However, normally denotes habitual action and consequently it doesn't sound good with the continuous tense (are you walking?), which indicates that the action, walking, is taking place at this very moment.

Andrea902a) Who is sitting in the sofa over there?
(b) Who sits in the sofa over there?
Both are correct. In 2a someone is sitting in the sofa right now, in 2b no one is sitting in the sofa at the moment but the asker assumes that the sofa is assigned to someone to sit in.
Andrea90(3a) The moon revolves around the earth, doesn’t it?
(b) The moon is revolving around the earth, isn’t it?
Both are technically correct but only 3a makes sense. It states a fact about our solar system and therefore the simple present is used. Sentence 3b implies that the moon usually or very often revolves around another planet but is now perhaps unexpectedly revolving around the earth.
Andrea904a) Who has painted your house?
(b) Who has been painting your house?
Both are correct and possible in actual usage but have different meanings. In 4a the painting has been done, in other words, it is complete. The house has been painted. In 4b most likely the painting isn't complete. It is unfinished. Only part of the house has been painted so far and the painting will probably continue.
Andrea90(5a) She must see Professor Smith.
(b) She must be seeing Professor Smith.
Again, both sentences are correct but have different meanings. In 5a a person is asked or ordered to go and see Professor Smith. In 5b the speaker assumes that "she" is seeing Professor Smith at this very moment.

CB

PS. A good Norwegian friend of mine who spends all winters on Gran Canaria goes to Bergen for the summer. His name is Rune. Should you see him, say hello from me to him!Emotion: wink
Thank you so much! This really helped! I'll make sure to do so if I meet him!:)

Best

Andrea
Just one thing... You would generally sit 'on' a sofa, not 'in' it. The use of the preposition 'in' makes it sound like the person is inside the sofa.

Emotion: smile
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AnonymousJust one thing... You would generally sit 'on' a sofa, not 'in' it. The use of the preposition 'in' makes it sound like the person is inside the sofa.
Indeed. I thought about that too. Then again, googling for "on the sofa" gives 10.6 million hits. Maybe these people have large, soft sofas into which one sinks up to one's ears?Emotion: thinking

CB