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  1. #1
    kadioguy is offline Key Member
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    I'm not telling you.

    In this video clip:

    https://youtu.be/6wpuRAdxwc0?t=8

    Host: Where did you get that picture?
    Hostess: Um, I'm not telling you.
    --------------
    Why does she use present progressive in the sentence?
    If I say 'I don't tell you.', what is the difference between them?
    I'm not a teacher. Please feel free to correct me. :)

  2. #2
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: I'm not telling you.

    We don't use the simple present tense to say what we are currently doing. It's wrong.
    Do the following sound natural to you? - "I answer your question. I respond to your post." If they do, you should learn that no one says this. I'm responding to your post. I'm answering your question. That's what I'm doing now. It's not "what I do now".

  3. #3
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    Re: I'm not telling you.

    As a foreigner, I also find the sentence "I'm not telling you" curious. I would expect "I won't tell you", and I don't know how to explain to myself the present continuous there.
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

  4. #4
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: I'm not telling you.

    The choice of words makes a difference. It depends on how confrontational the speaker wants to be. "I'm not telling you" (especially if said with a smile) comes off as less confrontational than the other options. In my opinion.

  5. #5
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    Re: I'm not telling you.

    Does it work this way with any other verb (within an appropriate context, of course)?
    I'm not doing that.
    I'm not wearing that.
    I'm not reading that.
    I'm not watching that.

    All these sentences (if they are possible which I don't know yet) seem to produce a humorous effect, to me. As if the action were totally impossible to the speaker, and he or she considered it as planned for a lifetime. A smile might strengthen this humorous effect. That's how I now see it, but I'm not sure if this is the right way to see it because I'm merely a learner. What do you think of it? Am I wrong?

    Having thought about it a bit more, it seems to me that without a smile it could be funnier.
    Last edited by GeneD; 16-Oct-2017 at 10:31. Reason: added a thought (the last sentence)
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: I'm not telling you.

    Those sentences can mean two different things.

    A: Stop looking at me!
    B: I'm not doing that. (I'm not looking at you, now. NOT I don't look at you now.)
    A: It wouldn't be safe to travel to Bali with that volcano going off.
    B: I'm not doing that. (any time soon)

    Man (on phone): If you're wearing that old blue house dress, remember I'm bringing the boss home later.
    Woman: I'm not wearing that. (now)
    Man: Here, put this baby doll lingerie on for me.
    Woman: I'm not wearing that! (I'm not going to wear that for you)
    etc.

    I can't see anything necessarily humorous there. It's the way the language works.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 16-Oct-2017 at 15:28. Reason: Fixing typo.

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