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A change in activity Options
Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2018 6:24:14 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/21/2015
Posts: 106
Neurons: 3,043
The subject is about a change in activity. The points involved come down to the usage of Present Simple and Present Continuous with their permanent and temporary aspects.

What I am trying to figure out is whether the idea of 1) temporariness attached to Present Continuous and the idea of 2) permanence attached to Present Simple remain when someone wants announce that some activity has been resumed or stopped or wants to ask about it.

Affirmative sentences
After a period of not doing something I announce that I have resumed doing it again.

I want to say that I have started living with, say, Jane, again.

1) I live with Jane now.
(Does it mean that I see it as a permanent situation? I am not going to stop it, right?)

2) I am living with Jane again/now. (Does it mean that I see it as a temporary situation? We might go apart and stop living together, right? At least that idea is implied when I use PRESENT CONTINUOUS)

Interrogative sentences
Does the same logic apply to interrogative sentences?

3) Do you live with Jane now?
(Does it mean that the asker believes that we are likely to live together permanently?)
4) Are you living with Jane again/now?
(Does it mean that the asker believes that we are likely NOT to live together permanently?)

In a grammar I have come across this sentence

5) Aren't she drawing any longer?
They don't specify any implication which Present Continuous has here. And I wonder whether it's OK to use only IF the speaker thinks it's a temporary break or it's forever? In other words, would the sentence 6) communicate something different?
6) Doesn't she draw any longer?

To me it looks like 5) can mean a permanent change. But I don't know if I am correct.



BobShilling
Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2018 8:21:04 AM
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Joined: 4/1/2018
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Neurons: 3,706
Location: Beroun, Stredocesky, Czech Republic
You can't read too much into the use of a simple or progressive form in one utterance, particularly with verbs such as 'live' which carry within themselves the idea of duration.

The main implication of the progressive aspect is of 'limited duration', a slightly different thing than 'temporary'.Note the two parts - 'limited' and 'duration. The duration may be limited, but it is not necessarily brief. The ice in my gin and tonic is melting as I write. The whole process will probably take ten minutes from beginning to end. The polar ice caps are melting; this process began decades ago and may well continue for decades.


1) I live with Jane again now.
2) I am living with Jane again now
.

Unless you are fairly sure that the living together will be only of short duration (in which case you would probably say #2), there may well be no significant difference between the two.
Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2018 9:34:18 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/21/2015
Posts: 106
Neurons: 3,043
I know I have asked a long question. I see what you mean.

Let's look at 5. Why do they suggest (in the grammar) this version?

Aren't she drawing any longer?

If I ask this question, does it mean that I hope she will start drawing one day? Why is Present Continuous involved if the question is about a permanent change?
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2018 10:33:01 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 9,725
Neurons: 51,343
Ivan Fadeev wrote:
The subject is about a change in activity. The points involved come down to the usage of Present Simple and Present Continuous with their permanent and temporary aspects.

What I am trying to figure out is whether the idea of 1) temporariness attached to Present Continuous and the idea of 2) permanence attached to Present Simple remain when someone wants announce that some activity has been resumed or stopped or wants to ask about it.

Affirmative sentences
After a period of not doing something I announce that I have resumed doing it again.

I want to say that I have started living with, say, Jane, again.

1) I live with Jane now.
(Does it mean that I see it as a permanent situation? I am not going to stop it, right?)
The sense of it would be that it is something you are currently doing, but it might not be permanent. Living with someone is almost always seen as being temporary, though it could be permanent.

2) I am living with Jane again/now. (Does it mean that I see it as a temporary situation? We might go apart and stop living together, right? At least that idea is implied when I use PRESENT CONTINUOUS)
Here again, there is the likely possibility it could be temporary because it was temporary before, and now you are simply doing it again.

Interrogative sentences
Does the same logic apply to interrogative sentences?

3) Do you live with Jane now?
(Does it mean that the asker believes that we are likely to live together permanently?)
No. It is again possibly temporary.

4) Are you living with Jane again/now?
(Does it mean that the asker questioner believes that we are likely NOT to live together permanently?)
Same answer. The person simply wants to know what you are doing now. There is no assumption about the future.

In a grammar I have come across this sentence

5) Aren't she drawing any longer?
A bad sentence. Probably you want to ask, "Is she no longer drawing?"

They don't specify any implication which Present Continuous has here. And I wonder whether it's OK to use only IF the speaker thinks it's a temporary break or it's forever? In other words, would the sentence 6) communicate something different?
6) Doesn't she draw any longer? "Does she no longer draw?"
This has the sense of being permanent. It implies she is no longer doing something she once did. She has completely stopped.


To me it looks like 5) can mean a permanent change. But I don't know if I am correct.
Correct.





We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2018 10:35:40 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 9,725
Neurons: 51,343
Ivan Fadeev wrote:
I know I have asked a long question. I see what you mean.

Let's look at 5. Why do they suggest (in the grammar) this version?

Aren't she drawing any longer?

If I ask this question, does it mean that I hope she will start drawing one day? Why is Present Continuous involved if the question is about a permanent change?

Because the person asking is wondering if the situation is permanent. She may be only taking a break from drawing.


We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
Romany
Posted: Monday, September 17, 2018 7:20:22 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 14,547
Neurons: 45,440
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Ivan -

When Foundit said "Aren't she drawing any longer?" was a "bad" sentence he meant it was grammaticaly incorrect. Remember your conjugations: -

I am not drawing
S/he is not (isn't) drawing
We are not (aren't) drawing
They are not (aren't) drawing
Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Thursday, September 20, 2018 5:22:26 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/21/2015
Posts: 106
Neurons: 3,043
That was a typo. If I didn't know that I would not have been able to communicate more or less difficult sentence, conditionals are included as well. But thank you for elaboration.
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