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    #1

    Why present simple tense?

    Teacher

    Context: Kenneth Branagh's "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein"
    Doctor Frankenstein is dead. The Creature's eyes are filled with tears.
    Captain Robert Walton asks, "Why do you weep?"
    The Creature's response is, "He was my father."

    I wonder whether "Why do you weekp" is correct.
    If I had been the captain I would have said, "Why are you weeping?"
    Do you think I'm wrong?
    Thank you very much.
    WW

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    #2

    Re: Why present simple tense?

    "Why are you weeping" would be the more common way to say it, you are correct.

    There's nothing wrong with the simple present, it actually makes it sound a bit poetic.

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    #3

    Smile Re: Why present simple tense?

    I have been reading lots of books lately and I could find lots of examples of present simple tense in that contex.

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    #4

    Re: Why present simple tense?

    Frankenstein was written in 1818.

    Usage changes a lot over nearly 200 years.

    Rover

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    #5

    Re: Why present simple tense?

    How many of you natives would say, in a similar context and in the year 2012, "Why do you weep (cry)" instead of "Why are you weeping (crying)"?
    WW

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    #6

    Re: Why present simple tense?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Frankenstein was written in 1818.

    Usage changes a lot over nearly 200 years.

    Rover
    Walt Whitman was a born around then. Hence the confusion .
    Last edited by charliedeut; 31-Aug-2012 at 15:03.
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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    #7

    Re: Why present simple tense?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Whitman View Post
    How many of you natives would say, in a similar context and in the year 2012, "Why do you weep (cry)" instead of "Why are you weeping (crying)"?
    WW
    Not me.

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    #8

    Re: Why present simple tense?

    Not me.

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    #9

    Re: Why present simple tense?

    Me either.
    That is why I was a bit puzzled and asked for clarification.
    As SoothingDave said, "Why do you weep?" is a bit poetic or just old-fashioned now.
    Thank you all.
    WW

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