A discussion recently came up on Duolingo (not the English course) about whether it would be appropriate to use the progressive tense with a continuous action, like something that happens every day. I found a similar Q&A here: Present continuous tense with the time element "everyday"

While even the user who answered implied that it would be more appropriate to use the simple tense, I'm wondering specifically about the verb 'to change'. Is it / can it be correct, in any context, to say that "her answer is changing every day"?

  • 'Her answer is changing' is rather nebulous. If 'she' was asked the same question daily and gave a different answer each time, this would be described thus: 'Her answer changes every day'. This treats her answering as punctive (but iterative). If 'the changing of her answer [/opinion?]' is considered to be better considered as a durative process, with 'every day' a loose paraphrase of 'all the time / constantly' used loosely, 'is changing' would be the choice. But not a highly idiomatic choice. Mar 16 '17 at 13:02
  • It can work when describing incremental portions of a long process. Eg: Inside, the caterpillar is changing into a butterfly.
    – Lawrence
    Mar 16 '17 at 13:13
  • As Lawrence suggests, whether her answer 'changes' or 'is changing' depends partly on the observer's point of view and partly on how the answer changes. if she describes it as black then green then red and the colours are apparently random then there appear to be different, discrete answers and the one she chooses, changes every day. Describing it as black then dark then grey, pale and later white could be explained the same way and it could also indicate that the one sole answer is indeed changing every day. Mar 25 '17 at 0:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.