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    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 449
    #1

    simple present bs present continuous

    I'm a journalist, buy I'm not working at the moment
    I'm a journalist, but I don't work at the moment

    Which of these sentences is correct?


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #2

    Re: simple present bs present continuous

    Quote Originally Posted by Englishlanguage View Post
    I'm a journalist, but I'm not working at the moment
    I'm a journalist, but I don't work at the moment

    Which of these sentences is correct?
    I'm not dumping on you, Englishlanguage, but I've said it before and I'll say it again, 'correct' is really not a good word choice to describe language choices.

    We NORMALLY don't use the present simple to describe "at the moment" situations, so the most natural choice would be #1.

    We do sometimes use the present simple for scheduled things, eg.

    "I fly to Paris next week",

    so, it's POSSIBLE that there just might be some circumstance where #2 would fit. But if it's described as "incorrect" that leaves students really puzzled when they come across such an example.


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 449
    #3

    Re: simple present bs present continuous

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    I'm not dumping on you, Englishlanguage, but I've said it before and I'll say it again, 'correct' is really not a good word choice to describe language choices.
    I swear I was going to change the sentence to "Which sounds better?" or something like that but my fingers were faster than my mind.

    Anyway, I would say I'm not working at the moment.
    Here are the google results I found at first:
    "I don't work at the moment": 46.900
    "I'm not working at the moment": 514

    At first I was shocked by this results because the second one seemed to be so underused that I thought it might even be "incorrect" (This is another reason why I asked which one was correct).
    Then, I considered typing "I am not working at the moment" since this sentence may often be pronounced in a formal context and there were 24600 results.
    I know google is not the best way to check if something is grammatical or not but I believe it is quite a good "indicator" of how language is used. Of course, you should consider that also circumstances in which language is used in a non-standard way will be included in those results and that English is often misused on the web because there are many non-native speakers who need to communicate on the web or are trying to learn the language just as the members of this forum do, but I think it can still be useful on some occasions.


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #4

    Re: simple present bs present continuous

    I got,

    Results 1 - 10 of about 42,100 English pages for "I'm not working at the moment".

    and,

    Results 1 - 10 of about 25,100 English pages for "I am not working at the moment".


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 449
    #5

    Re: simple present bs present continuous

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    I got,

    Results 1 - 10 of about 42,100 English pages for "I'm not working at the moment".

    and,

    Results 1 - 10 of about 25,100 English pages for "I am not working at the moment".
    These are the results I've gotten just now:

    Risultati 1 - 10 su circa 25.200 per "I am not working at the moment"
    Risultati 1 - 10 su circa 510 per "I'm not working at the moment"
    Risultati 1 - 10 su circa 48.000 per "I don't work at the moment".
    Read it as: Results 1 - 10 of about .... for ...

    It seems that people who are not working at the moment are getting more and more every second.
    Anyway, the diference between my results for "I'm not working at the moment" and yours is really weird.
    I used an Italian language version but I searched the whole web. I've also tried switching the language from Italian to English but I got the same results.

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