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Below, I have 3 examples which may or may not make sense depending on the context. I was curious what other people thought of these sentences. Which of the following are interchangeable and which are obviously different?

1) Do you drive to work?

A) No, I am taking the train now.
B) No, I take the train now.

2) Do you go out to restaurants for dinner after work?

A) No, I am cooking now.
B) No, I cook now.

3) I am sorry for calling so late, but I have something important to discuss. Are you busy now?

A) No, I am just reading a book.
B) No, I read (a book, books).
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Comments  (Page 2) 
milky,

Ok, but what about a sentence like "I watch the sunrise before I go to work". Here we have 2 unlimited actions by your explanation, watch and go. Wouldn't the act of watching the sunrise have a limit? After it has risen, it cannot rise anymore. Also, what if it is cloudy? Your rule makes sense with verbs like go, where we have additional information. With isolated actions in the present, like "watch tv", there is a limit.

This brings us back to the same question.

It's WHEN you are going to work that you take the train. Here we have present continuous again. Or, should we say "When you go to work, you take the train"?

It's when you are runnING late for work that you have to worry about gettING fired. (Where's the limit? Wouldn't this apply anytime? Isn't this boundless?)


The progressive form is used when the speaker perceives/understands the action as limited in some way, i.e. as having a beginning and an end.

So every native speaker who uses a progressive form "perceives" or "understands" the action as limited in some way?

MrP
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Wwwdotcommilky,

Ok, but what about a sentence like "I watch the sunrise before I go to work". Here we have 2 unlimited actions by your explanation, watch and go. Wouldn't the act of watching the sunrise have a limit? After it has risen, it cannot rise anymore. Also, what if it is cloudy? Your rule makes sense with verbs like go, where we have additional information. With isolated actions in the present, like "watch tv", there is a limit.

Above, the idea is that you watch the sunrise every day, right? Well, tell me when you will stop that action? When for example will you only watch it rise two days per week, or not at all?

.
This brings us back to the same question.

It's WHEN you are going to work that you take the train. Here we have present continuous again. Or, should we say "When you go to work, you take the train"?

You should know that I like students to think for themselves sometimes. I don't always give direct answers. Therefore... do you see the present continuous here, or is it a gerund?

It's when you are dancing that you fly.

It's when you are (horse) riding that you feel best.

It's when you are runnING late for work that you have to worry about gettING fired. (Where's the limit? Wouldn't this apply anytime? Isn't this boundless?)

MrPedantic


The progressive form is used when the speaker perceives/understands the action as limited in some way, i.e. as having a beginning and an end.

So every native speaker who uses a progressive form "perceives" or "understands" the action as limited in some way?

MrP

Did I say that? You seem to be in a mood of asking questions lately. How do you see the difference regarding choice between the simple and progressive use in the thread question?

Just a note: the progressive/continuous form is also known as the durative form.
WwwdotcomBelow, I have 3 examples which may or may not make sense depending on the context. I was curious what other people thought of these sentences. Which of the following are interchangeable and which are obviously different?

1) Do you drive to work?

A) No, I am taking the train now.
B) No, I take the train now.

Which would you say is "correct", and why?

I'm usually going to work by car, but this week I take the bus.

I usually go to work by car, but this week I take the bus.

I usually go to work by car, but this week I'm taking the bus.

I'm usually going to work by car, but this week I'm taking the bus.
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MilkyWhich would you say is "correct", and why?

1. I'm usually going to work by car, but this week I take the bus.

2. I usually go to work by car, but this week I take the bus.

3. I usually go to work by car, but this week I'm taking the bus.

4. I'm usually going to work by car, but this week I'm taking the bus.

1. I can't find a context for this one.

2. I've had a bad experience with my car. There's no way I'm going to pay to have it repaired again. That's it. We're through. "I usually go to work by car; but this week, I take the bus."

The simple present in the second part expresses resolve. You can think of it as an imperative-to-self.

3. A plain statement: that is usual, but this is happening this week. The present progressive here expresses "in the thick of it".

4. You might come across this version in a spoken narrative. "So we turn the corner, and what do you think we see? A whole bunch of ergative verbs in the middle of the road. Now I'm usually going to work by car, but this week I'm taking the bus; and just as we reach the bus stop, etc., etc."

MrP
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1. I can't find a context for this one.

2. I've had a bad experience with my car. There's no way I'm going to pay to have it repaired again. That's it. We're through. "I usually go to work by car; but this week, I take the bus."

The simple present in the second part expresses resolve. You can think of it as an imperative-to-self.

3. A plain statement: that is usual, but this is happening this week. The present progressive here expresses "in the thick of it".

4. You might come across this version in a spoken narrative. "So we turn the corner, and what do you think we see? A whole bunch of ergative verbs in the middle of the road. Now I'm usually going to work by car, but this week I'm taking the bus; and just as we reach the bus stop, etc., etc."

MrP>>>

The "exercise" was aimed at the student. Try focusing on the thread question.

And your interpretation of 3 is of no value to the "general semantic meaning" of verb/aspect forms.
MilkyAnd your interpretation of 3 is of no value to the "general semantic meaning" of verb/aspect forms.

Sorry, Milky, I don't quite catch your drift – what does it mean, to say that something is "of no value" to the "meaning" of something else?

MrP
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