I read the following sentence, but don't understand why I cannot just use present tense instead. Is it because that "increasingly" have some meanings represent progressive tense? Thanks!

Because uranium is the heaviest, and therfore the most penetrating, of natural metals, it is being increasingly used in the production of bullets.
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Yes, you're right. 'Increasingly' stresses progression, and so does the tense here, so together they make a strong emphasis.

Best wishes, Clive
Thanks, Clive!

So is there any other word that may have such 'progressive' meaning, as "increasingly" here?

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How about 'continuously'?

Best wishes again, Clive
I ... don't understand why I cannot just use present tense instead

"... it is used increasingly in the production of bullets."

I don't understand it either. Who is telling you that you cannot use present tense?


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Oh, i see, we can use present tense, actually!

So if say "... it is used increasingly in the production of bullets", the meaning of it is a bit changed from the original one, right? It now represents a fact instead of a "trend", "procedure"... isn't it?

Hello Murof

The present passive is fine here, and would probably be preferred in a newspaper article or dissertation.

The present passive progressive does give a little extra sense of "nowness"; but as Clive has said, the "increasingly" already contributes to the impression of "a process happening now".


Yes, you can actually use present tense. Yes, the meaning is a bit changed, but the difference is minimal.

I have a tendency to explain such differences in impressionistic terms, so I'll just say that, to my ear, "is used" (in the given context) is a more remote and aloof formulation, cooler and, as you say, more factual, while "is being used" is a more immediate and involving formulation, warmer and more inviting.
In the vaguest, most fanciful way, the simple present informs, and the present progressive seduces!

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