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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    Present simple or present continuous

    Hello.

    This grammar rule was copied from the book Advanced Grammar in Use M. Hewings. Do they mean the both tenses can be used interchangeably? My options are in bold.

    ''We can also use the present simple and present continuous like this in commentaries (for example, on sports events) and in giving instructions:

    • King serves/is serving to the left hand court and Adams makes/is making a wonderful return. She's playing/she plays(I think it's unlikely to be used) magnificent tennis in this match...

    • You hold/are holding the can in one hand. Right, you're holding/hold it in one hand; now you take off/are taking the lid with the other''.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 18-Jun-2019 at 13:41. Reason: Sorted out the layout

  2. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Present simple or present continuous

    No, certainly not.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Present simple or present continuous

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Adams View Post
    Hello.

    This grammar rule was copied from the book Advanced Grammar in Use by M. Hewings. Do they Does it mean the that both tenses can be used interchangeably? My options are in bold.

    ''We can also use the present simple and present continuous like this in commentaries (for example, on sports events) and in giving instructions:

    • King serves/is serving to the left hand court and Adams makes/is making a wonderful return. She's playing/she plays (I think it's unlikely to be used) magnificent tennis in this match...
    In the example about tennis, it doesn't make any sense to use the present continuous for both the serve and the return. If King is serving (at the time of speaking), then the return hasn't happened yet. If Adams is returning (at the time of speaking), the serve has already happened. I don't find either of them natural once play is underway for that point. Commentators usually use the present simple because they give a contemporaneous description of each shot.

    King serves to the ad court.
    Adams makes a wonderful cross-court return.
    King goes down the line.
    Adams hits the ball into the net.

    However, a general statement on the quality of Adams' play during the game would be natural in the present continuous - "She's playing magnificent tennis".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #4

    Re: Present simple or present continuous

    Hewings said something about the choice of tenses in a previous paragraph which he references when he says "like this".
    I am not a teacher.

  5. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Present simple or present continuous

    This is Hewings' example:

    King serves to the left-hand court and Adams makes a wonderful return. She's playing magnificent tennis in this match.

    He does not mean that you can use either present simple or present continuous. He's trying to show how each of these tenses are used differently.

    In the first sentence, the present simple is used to comment on the action as it happens in the moment. In the second sentence, the present continuous is used to make a more general comment about a longer period of time—in this case, the duration of the entire match so far.

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