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  1. Kaito-Hacker's Avatar
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    #1

    Simple Present or Present Continuous?

    My parents are very generous. They _____ me presents.
    A. are always buying
    B. always buy

    My grandmother can't see very well, so _____.
    A. She's always falling over
    B. She always falls over

    Ben _____ very cooperative at the moment. I don't know why. Usually he's very easy to work with.
    A. isn't
    B. isn't being

    Please give me the answer with explanation.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Simple Present or Present Continuous?

    Hello Kaito,
    We don't give answers to questions. We comment on the answers you provide.

    What do YOU think and why?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. Kaito-Hacker's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Simple Present or Present Continuous?

    My parents are very generous. They alwyas buy me presents.

    My grandmother can't see very well, so she always falls over.

    Ben isn't very cooperative at the moment. I don't know why. Usually he's very easy to work with.

    Reason: when I try to read the whole sentence with each choice, I feel like the the answer I put in sounds correct and the other choice sounds awkward to me. Other than that, I can't find any other reasons.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Simple Present or Present Continuous?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaito-Hacker View Post
    My parents are very generous. They alwyas buy me presents.

    My grandmother can't see very well, so she always falls over.

    Ben isn't very cooperative at the moment. I don't know why. Usually he's very easy to work with.

    Reason: when I try to read the whole sentence with each choice, I feel like the the answer I put in sounds correct and the other choice sounds awkward to me. Other than that, I can't find any other reasons.
    Personally, I would use the simple present if it were followed by some kind of timescale or further description.

    - My parents always buy me presents when they go on holiday.
    - My grandmother always falls over when she goes shopping.

    However, as a standalone phrase, I much prefer the present continuous for showing that something is a habitual event.

    - My parents are always buying me presents.
    - My grandmother is always falling over.

    - Ben isn't/isn't being very co-operative at the moment (both versions are fine in my opinion).

  5. Kaito-Hacker's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Simple Present or Present Continuous?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Personally, I would use the simple present if it were followed by some kind of timescale or further description.

    - My parents always buy me presents when they go on holiday.
    - My grandmother always falls over when she goes shopping.

    However, as a standalone phrase, I much prefer the present continuous for showing that something is a habitual event.

    - My parents are always buying me presents.
    - My grandmother is always falling over.

    - Ben isn't/isn't being very co-operative at the moment (both versions are fine in my opinion).

    So will
    My parents are always buy me presents because they are very generous.
    My grandmother is always falls over because she can't see very well.
    be correct sentences?
    Last edited by Kaito-Hacker; 11-Jul-2011 at 23:30.

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Simple Present or Present Continuous?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaito-Hacker View Post
    So will
    My parents are always buy me presents because they are very generous.
    My grandmother is always falls over because she can't see very well.
    be correct sentences?
    No, none of those are correct.

    If you are going to say "My parents are always..." then it has to be followed by the gerund "buying".
    "My grandmother is always..." - same rule, it will have to be followed by "falling over".

  7. Kaito-Hacker's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Simple Present or Present Continuous?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    No, none of those are correct.

    If you are going to say "My parents are always..." then it has to be followed by the gerund "buying".
    "My grandmother is always..." - same rule, it will have to be followed by "falling over".
    But you said if it were followed by further description it will be fine to use simple present.

  8. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Simple Present or Present Continuous?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaito-Hacker View Post
    But you said if it were followed by further description it will be fine to use simple present.
    Simple present:
    buy, not are buy.
    falls, not is fall
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  9. 5jj's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Simple Present or Present Continuous?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    If you are going to say "My parents are always..." then it has to be followed by the gerund "buying".
    "My grandmother is always..." - same rule, it will have to be followed by "falling over".
    This is not, in my opinion, a gerund. We have here the present progressive, formed with BE + the -ing form of the verb. If you want to give another name to this -ing form, then it is surely the present participle, not the gerund.

    This is a fairly normal use of the progressive (continuous/durative) form:

    4. Andrea's always losing her keys.

    In [4]. the use of always, normally associated by virtue of its meaning with the unmarked tense seems at first sight illogical. However, as we have seen in [3]the use of the Durative Aspect with a short action stresses the repetition of that action. The combination of the Durative Aspect and always tells us that this is a an situation that actualises repeatedly, but because the duration of the whole series of losing is limited, it is not presented as a permanent state of affairs

    This combination is associated by some writers with some idea of the speaker's emotional attitude, but this will be made explicit not just by the words, but by the whole context of situation and the speaker's tone. It is not true to suggest that it always expresses the speaker's irritation; with change of tone of voice and facial expression, the person uttering [4]could express irritation, resignation, amusement or a number of other feelings. Here, as is almost always the case in English, it is context and other factors that express feelings, not simply the words. The combination can just as easily be used to express pleasure, as in:

    4a. He's always buying me flowers.


    from: http://www.gramorak.com/Articles/Tense.pdf, page 15

  10. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Simple Present or Present Continuous?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    This is not, in my opinion, a gerund. We have here the present progressive, formed with BE + the -ing form of the verb. If you want to give another name to this -ing form, then it is surely the present participle, not the gerund.

    This is a fairly normal use of the progressive (continuous/durative) form:

    4. Andrea's always losing her keys.

    In [4]. the use of always, normally associated by virtue of its meaning with the unmarked tense seems at first sight illogical. However, as we have seen in [3]the use of the Durative Aspect with a short action stresses the repetition of that action. The combination of the Durative Aspect and always tells us that this is a an situation that actualises repeatedly, but because the duration of the whole series of losing is limited, it is not presented as a permanent state of affairs

    This combination is associated by some writers with some idea of the speaker's emotional attitude, but this will be made explicit not just by the words, but by the whole context of situation and the speaker's tone. It is not true to suggest that it always expresses the speaker's irritation; with change of tone of voice and facial expression, the person uttering [4]could express irritation, resignation, amusement or a number of other feelings. Here, as is almost always the case in English, it is context and other factors that express feelings, not simply the words. The combination can just as easily be used to express pleasure, as in:

    4a. He's always buying me flowers.


    from: http://www.gramorak.com/Articles/Tense.pdf, page 15
    My mistake. I have a nasty habit of calling anything that ends -ing a gerund, instead of just referring to the whole thing as the continuous. That's what comes of being a use of English teacher, not a grammar teacher! Sorry.

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