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    #1

    Continuous form

    Hello,

    If you are a native English speaker, what differences come to your mind when you compare those two sentences taken from a computer program presumably written by native speakers? What are the rules, as to preferring one of them, connotations, etc.


    Please wait while the wizard searches...

    Please wait while the wizard is searching...


    Thanks!

  1. apex2000's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Continuous form

    They convey the same message, just a matter of choice which one to use.

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    #3

    Re: Continuous form

    Most specifically, searches is a simple present tense which conveys no more information than that the computer performs an operation without any more specificity.

    On the other hand, is searching conveys a sense of continuity and the tense is most specifically the present progressive or the present continuous, the former being the term taken from the Latin paradigm.

    FYI
    was (were) searching would be the past progressive
    will be searching is the future progressive
    has (have) been searching is the present perfect progressive
    had been searching is the past perfect progressive
    will be searching is the future progressive
    will have been searching is the future perfect progressive

    These can also be expressed in the pasive voice, but that is another story.
    L J

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    #4

    Re: Continuous form

    Either means the same, but the first sounds more natural to me.

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    #5

    Re: Continuous form

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Either means the same, but the first sounds more natural to me.
    That's interesting. What about those two:

    He was searching for her while she was waiting for him.

    He searched for her while she waited for him.


    Still the same meaning? If so, which is more natural?

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    #6

    Re: Continuous form

    I don't expect my computer to be so verbose, so that's why it sounds more natural to me.

    For your second question, I would probably mix them up. He searched for her while she was waiting.

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    #7

    Re: Continuous form

    Quote Originally Posted by enthink View Post
    That's interesting. What about those two:

    He was searching for her while she was waiting for him.

    He searched for her while she waited for him.


    Still the same meaning? If so, which is more natural?
    These sentences do not mean the same. There is a regular simple/continuous difference here.

  2. lauralie2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Continuous form

    Quote Originally Posted by enthink View Post
    ..., as to preferring one of them, connotations, etc.


    Please wait while the wizard searches...

    Please wait while the wizard is searching...


    Thanks!
    The second one sounds odd to me (I don't know why), but if I reverse the order of the clauses, it sounds better:


    • While the wizard is searching, please wait.

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    #9

    Re: Continuous form

    Quote Originally Posted by enthink View Post
    Hello,

    If you are a native English speaker, what differences come to your mind when you compare those two sentences taken from a computer program presumably written by native speakers? What are the rules, as to preferring one of them, connotations, etc.


    Please wait while the wizard searches...

    Please wait while the wizard is searching...

    Thanks!
    The first is more likely to be written by a computer programmer, not an English treacher. (It's just as informative and uses fewer keystrokes). So, for a computer output, it sounds natural.
    But I guess from your followup requests, that's not really what you're really asking?

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    #10

    Re: Continuous form

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    The first is more likely to be written by a computer programmer, not an English treacher.
    I don't follow you. Do you mean the grammar or the vocabulary? If the former, see below; if the latter, I don't get the point of your post.


    Teacher: Please wait while I grade your paper.

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