I live or I'm living

I live or I'm living

By Alena Lien, 

3 September 2018

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Present simple or Present continuous?


When we talk about experiences and situations in conversation, we can imply or hint that something is long-term or temporary by using either the present simple or present continuous tense.


Compare the following examples.


Present simple: 

  • "I work for the government."

This implies the job is long term. (I would like to retire from this company.)


Present continuous: 

  • "I'm working for the government."

This implies the job is short term. (I'm not sure if I want to work here for the rest of my life.)



Present simple: 

  • "I live in Australia."

This implies a sense of permanency. (This is where I call home.)


Present continuous: 

  • "I'm living in Australia."

This implies a temporary situation. (I'm here for a few years.)




Temporary situations - Plan or feeling?


When it comes to using the present continuous tense, the listener may not always know if the temporary situation is a plan or a feeling.


Temporary situation:

  • "I'm working for the government at the moment."


Plan:

  • "I'm working for the government at the moment, but I'm moving to Japan to teach English next year."


Feeling:

  • "I'm working for the government at the moment, but I'm not sure what the future holds for me."