I have just watched a movie and in particular moment in a movie (one person is standing outside the door, and there are three characters inside room: A, B and C. A is saying something in foreign language and B is translating it to the C) B is saying: "She tells me old man is standing outside the door". My question is: Shouldn't there be Present Continuous tense, like "She is telling me old man is standing outside the door"? Why there was Simple tense used in that sentence since that all happened in ona particular moment?

Thank you in advance

  • Is the translator translating literally while the speaker is speaker, or after she says something? Probably not at the same time, hence (I think) "she tells me." BTW, "She is telling me" would most likely be "She's telling me" when spoken. Aug 24, 2016 at 19:34
  • @developerwjk You're right, the translator is translating after person A says something.
    – siwy9
    Aug 24, 2016 at 20:00
  • 1
    I think using "she's telling me" or "she is telling me" would seem to emphasize it, almost like saying "she keeps telling me." If she only said it once, "she tells me" is more natural in my opinion. Aug 24, 2016 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


This could be the usage of slang. The correct form should go something like "She tells me an old man..." or "She is telling me an old man" but when using slang or shorthand speech sometimes people leave out words and it doesn't translate well or follow grammar rules.

Hope this helps :)

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