I would like to ask what is the difference (or if I can use only one possibility) between:
I study to become a doctor. I read a book about WWII. ...
I'm studying to become a doctor. I'm reading a book about WWII. ...
Is it possible to use both tenses?
Thanks a lot.
It would sound very unnatural to say the present simple tense just on it's own like this. In response to a question that 'models' the tense, it would be appropriate:
'What do you study for?'
'I study to become a doctor.'
'What book do you read in your free time?'
'I read a book about WWII.'
However, the present continuous tense is much more natural sounding. People hardly ever talk about doing things in present simple tense.
It seems to me that 'present simple' tense is more used to describe things that are more permanent/longer lasting:
I live in a house.
I work as a teacher.
I like cheese.
Even in your examples, 'I study to become a doctor' sounds better than 'I read a book about WWII' because studying is more permanent than reading a book. At least, I think that's what makes it sound unnatural - 'I read a book about...' sounds like it's the only book you ever read.
Last edited by Linguist__; 09-Mar-2010 at 03:17. Reason: Added more text.