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Present tense vs present progressive tense

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,
Would all of the sentences be commonly used?

1a) He swims here every summer.
1b) He is swimming here every summer.

2a) He plays tennis these days.
2b) He is playing tennis these days.

3a) I usually eat lunch at around two o'clock.
3b) I'm usually eating lunch at around two o'clock.

4a) Those people go to church on Sundays.
4b) Those people are going to church on Sundays.

5a) Tom speaks English at home.
5b) Tom is speaking English at home.

6a) Tom and Jim go to school together.
6b) Tom and Jim are going to school together.

7a) I eat bread for breakfast.
7b) I'm eating bread for breakfast.

8a) I often drink coffee after lunch.
8b) I'm often drinking coffee after lunch.
8c) I drink coffee after lunch.
8d) I'm drinking coffee after lunch.

9a) We read Shakespeare in this semester.
9b) We're reading Shakespeare in this semester.

Thanks in advance.
Hirashin
 

OoTmaster

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1(a) Yes. 1(b) No. 2(a) Yes. 2(b) No. 3(a) Yes. 3(b) No. 4(a) Yes. 4(b) No. (please note that the phrase "those people" can sound rude in English I would suggest replacing with the pronoun they) 5(a) Yes. 5(b) No. 6(a) Yes. 6(b) Yes. (This sounds like a one time occurrence) 7(a) Yes. 7(b) No. Incorrect grammar. "I'm going to eat bread for breakfast." 8(a) Yes. 8(b) No. 8(c) Yes. 8(d) No. Same as before. "I'm going to drink coffee after lunch." 9(a) No. "We will read Shakespeare (during) this semester" 9(b) Yes.
 
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1a) He swims here every summer.
yes
1b) He is swimming here every summer.
never

2a) He plays tennis these days.
yes
2b) He is playing tennis these days.
yes (sounds old fashioned)

3a) I usually eat lunch at around two o'clock.
3a') I usually eat lunch at or around two (o'clock)
yes
(edit: except it's "at" or "around" or "at or around", the last being pretty wordy. "Two o'clock" is pretty wordy too, usually just 'around two.')
3b) I'm usually eating lunch at around two o'clock.
maybe in the right context, maybe not this exact phrasing. "I'm usually still eating lunch at 2, so if you could plan to come to my office closer to 3 that'd be great."

4a) Those people go to church on Sundays.
yes
4b) Those people are going to church on Sundays.
never

5a) Tom speaks English at home.
yes
5b) Tom is speaking English at home.
Weird as a standalone phrase. Maybe "Tom is speaking English at home now that his parents have enrolled in ESL courses."


6a) Tom and Jim go to school together.
yes (meaning they attend the same school, or that they commute to school the same way, or both).
6b) Tom and Jim are going to school together.
yes (meaning they are commuting to school together right now, or shortly will be; or else that they will be entering the same school).

7a) I eat bread for breakfast.
Yes, as a general habit.
7b) I'm eating bread for breakfast.
Yes, as what you're doing right this minute / will be doing shortly.

8a) I often drink coffee after lunch.
yes
8b) I'm often drinking coffee after lunch.
never
8c) I drink coffee after lunch.
yes, as a habit
8d) I'm drinking coffee after lunch.
yes, as a plan for after the lunch you're currently eating or about to eat.

9a) We read Shakespeare in this semester.
9a') We read Shakespeare this semester.
No. This reads fine as the past tense, but is wrong as the present.
9b) We're reading Shakespeare in this semester.
9b') We're reading Shakespeare in this semester.
Yes.
(edit: Oh, except as mdchachi says, 'in' doesn't belong here. I skimmed right over it on the first reading. though.)
 
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mdchachi

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They all sound acceptable grammatically except it should be just "around" not "at around." And just "this semester" not "in this semester."
 

hirashin

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Thanks for the help, SomeCallMeChris and mdchachi.
They all sound acceptable grammatically except it should be just "around" not "at around." And just "this semester" not "in this semester."

Mdchachi, what do you mean by "They all sound acceptable grammatically"? Does it mean that some of them would not be used as Chris said?
 

mdchachi

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Mdchachi, what do you mean by "They all sound acceptable grammatically"? Does it mean that some of them would not be used as Chris said?
I think they are ok from a grammatical standpoint (keeping in mind that I'm not an expert) but I agree with Chris that some of them sound strange and the given examples would not be said. But some would sound just fine in other situations.
For example, Chris said "never" for Those people are going to church on Sundays.
But something like Those kids are skateboarding on weekends is the same sentence structure and sounds fine to me.
 

hirashin

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Thanks for the reply, mdchachi.
For example, Chris said "never" for Those people are going to church on Sundays.
But something like Those kids are skateboarding on weekends is the same sentence structure and sounds fine to me.

Interesting. How does it differ from "Those kids skateboard on weekends" ?

How about "Those kids are going to church on Sundays"?

Do you agree with what Chris says about the nuance of "those people"? Would "Look at those people" sound rude?
 

OoTmaster

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Usually it's only if you put stress on that particular phrase that it sounds rude. It can sound like exclusivity. "I wouldn't go to the concert with those people." for instance can sound like you would go to the concert with literally anyone else. It's not just that particular phrase though phrases like "that person" "that woman" "that man" can all sound pretty rude depending on the situation usually if the word is stressed in the sentence.
 

mdchachi

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How does it differ from "Those kids skateboard on weekends" ?

How about "Those kids are going to church on Sundays"?

Do you agree with what Chris says about the nuance of "those people"? Would "Look at those people" sound rude?
The whole form sounds somewhat unnatural because, generally speaking, the simpler the sentence the more natural it sounds. So I don't think the problem is with "those."
It would sound natural if you said,
Those people go to church on Sundays.
or
Those kids go to church on Sundays.

However as OoTmaster said, "those people" can sound strange or even rude (discriminatory). It sounds like you're familiar with them enough to know they go to church but not familiar enough to know who they are. Even the equivalent sentence in Japanese sounds a little unusual, don't you think? 日曜日にあの人が教会に行く.
 

hirashin

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Thanks for your reply, OoTmaster and mdchachi.

Chris says "He is playing tennis these days." sounds old-fashioned.
How about this?
(4c) They are going to church these days.
Does it sound old-fashion as well?
 

mdchachi

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Thanks for your reply, OoTmaster and mdchachi.

Chris says "He is playing tennis these days." sounds old-fashioned.
How about this?
(4c) They are going to church these days.
Does it sound old-fashion as well?
Perhaps. If I wanted to say this I would probably say
They have been going to church lately.
Btw, it's "old-fashioned" not "old-fashion." I'm only mentioning it because you're an english teacher. I'm sure many native speakers get this wrong too.
 

hirashin

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Thanks, mdchachi.
Btw, it's "old-fashioned" not "old-fashion." I'm only mentioning it because you're an english teacher. I'm sure many native speakers get this wrong too.
Oh, it was a typo. I accidentally deleted "ed".
 
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