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We live vs we are living Options
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 12:10:05 AM
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We live in the times of apathy and desolation.

https://m.rediff.com/movies/review/review-october-is-a-wonder/20180413.htm

Please explain the use of simple present "we live..." in the context.

Should it not be present progressive for the current trend?
palapaguy
Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 12:28:21 AM

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Location: Calabasas, California, United States
Most native speakers understand "we live" and "we are living" to be interchangeable in the context of your question.
BobShilling
Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 2:31:14 AM
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Location: Beroun, Stredocesky, Czech Republic
palapaguy wrote:
interchangeable


They are not interchangeable in the sense of 'conveying exactly the same meaning'.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 9:21:48 PM

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Hi Jigneshbharati.

Some verbs include the idea of a continuous action - "live" is one of them.
It is not like "hit" or 'say', which take an instant (or very short time) to do.

The two present tenses work slightly differently with this type of verb (some grammarians describe them as 'durational' verbs; whereas verbs which happen at one POINT in time are called 'punctual' verbs).
Some durational verbs are almost never used in the progressive form.

PUNCTUAL VERBS
I say my prayers. - This is a habit, a repeated action.
I am saying my prayers. - This means right now, this instant.

I hit the ball too hard usually. - This is a repeated action, something which often happens.
I am hitting the ball. - Right now, at this point in time.

DURATIONAL VERBS
I live in Scotland. - This is a continuous, in progress situation. It gives no reference to a start or end of the situation.
I am living in Scotland. - This is a relatively temporary situation, but is true continually during the current period.

We live in times of apathy and desolation. - This is our 'state', our continuous, in progress situation.
We are living in times of apathy and desolation. - this is almost the same, but has some 'feeling' that the situation of apathy and desolation is not permanent, and may have only started a short time ago (relatively).

I am a chauffeur. - My permanent job - my 'state of being' - is a driver for someone. I drive a car carrying my employer.
I'm usually a technician, but today I'm being a chauffeur for my family. - It is temporary. Only today, I am driving a car and carrying people around.

***************
What is considered "relatively temporary" depends on the verb, the context and the people involved in the communication.

"We are living in times of apathy and desolation" could be said if things were not so bad when my grandparents were alive . . . or when I was young . . . or "before guns were used in war". It depends on the common background knowledge of the speaker and listener - and the subject of the conversation. It is vague, but it implies a beginning and an end.
"We live in times of apathy and desolation" simply does not pay attention to time. It was true in the past and it will be true in the future. It may be temporary or it may be a permanent situation - the sentence does not say at all.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
palapaguy
Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 10:21:35 PM

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Joined: 10/28/2013
Posts: 1,137
Neurons: 10,685
Location: Calabasas, California, United States
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Hi Jigneshbharati.
"We are living in times of apathy and desolation" could be said if things were not so bad when my grandparents were alive . . . or when I was young . . . or "before guns were used in war". It depends on the common background knowledge of the speaker and listener - and the subject of the conversation. It is vague, but it implies a beginning and an end.
"We live in times of apathy and desolation" simply does not pay attention to time. It was true in the past and it will be true in the future. It may be temporary or it may be a permanent situation - the sentence does not say at all.


Excellent explanation! Applause
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Saturday, April 14, 2018 1:40:47 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2016
Posts: 1,755
Neurons: 10,085
Thanks a lot Drago for a very lucid explanation!
coag
Posted: Saturday, April 14, 2018 10:49:08 AM

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You the man, Drag0nspeaker.
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