A colleague asked me which of these sentences is correct, or if they are both correct which is better to use.

  1. Are you using the current template version?
  2. Do you use the current template version?

I recommended using the first sentence but only because it sounds better to me.

Is there anything grammatically wrong with the second sentence or does it convey a different meaning to the first sentence?

  • 1
    Your intuition is correct. "are you using" is more common; the person would answer "yes", even if he were not usung tge template at that moment. the other construction is ok, and would be understood the same. You might be more likely to ask it "do you use" if you were consulting at a company and wanted to know whether the whole company had adopted that template. ( other folks on this site may try to dazzle you with fine points and subtleties, but for ordinary use this will suffice.) i am not putting this as an answer because I do not have sources to cite. Jan 12, 2015 at 9:23
  • 1
    Both sentences are equally grammatical. So are "Have you been using", "Had you used", "Will you use", "Would you have been using". They are all perfectly fine. They just mean different things.
    – RegDwigнt
    Jan 12, 2015 at 9:52

2 Answers 2


"Are you using…" refers to what you are currently doing, though there's nothing about it that distinguishes from an instantaneous time-frame (what you are doing right now) a short one (today, perhaps) or a very long one covering years or more.

"Do you use…" refers to what one tends to do.

For that reason, if you want to be specific as to what the person is doing at the time you ask them, or perhaps to the context of a specific project, then "are you using…" is better while if you want to ask about what the best approach is generally, then "do you use…" is better.

In many cases those will both amount to the same thing, and either would be absolutely fine.


"Are you using…" describes what you are use right now (current task for example) and it refers to temporary situation.

"Do you use…" describes what you use in general, not on the past, not now, not in the future, and it refers to permanent situation.

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