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Hi all,

I have a question about the difference between present continuous and present simple in these two sentences.

a. Jack always arrives late
b. Jack's always arriving late

What's the difference? In what situation am I allowed to use each? I read in a grammar book, it says something about habit for (b). But I just couldn't really understand. Thanks a lot.

Liya
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Hello, Liya.

B contains an emotional tone: it could express more exasperation, irritation, or even good humour, than A does.
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I see.Can I use (b) anytime? I mean, am I only allowed to say that when we're waiting for him and he's not yet coming? Or, can I use that anytime, for example, when we're talking about him?

Thanks.

Liya
Hello, Liya.

First, let's get rid of the word 'allowed'—there are no English Language Police! Generally, it is just a matter of using what most others use, though of course there are still plenty of basic grammar 'rules' around that we should follow if we wish to speak the natural language.

So, yes: B can reasonably be used any time, as long as the person is still alive and still has that bad habit.
Hi Mister Micawber. Thank you for your answer and your input. Emotion: smile

Liya
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