I have a small question regarding the usage of the present simple, present continuous and auxiliary verbs. Is this correct English?

  1. Feel safe? (Do you feel safe?) → So do I!
  2. Feeling safe? (Are you feeling safe?) → So am I!
  3. Feeling safe? So do I!

In this particular case (3), a question is asked in present continuous and gets answered in simple present. The addressee is making a (powerful) statement that the he/she 'always' or 'infinitively' feels safe, not just actively at this moment.

I'm not a native English speaker, but I was under the impression that this is a perfectly accepted exception to the general rules of English language. Can anyone confirm this or explain why this is not acceptable?

Edit: The actual phrase in question is "Feeling ambitious? So do we", which is a phrase I made up myself. I replaced it with 'feeling safe' to present a more neutral case.

  • You may find that there is a difference between British English and American English in this regard.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 8:55
  • Can you say what gives you this impression? Have you read it or heard it somewhere?
    – J.R.
    Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 9:03
  • 4
    Nobody's going to stop you from creating catchphrases that have tricky, unconventional, or garden-path word choices. Remember Apple's "Think Different". The question is: when you show it to strangers, do most of them respond with "that's clever"? Or "that's awkward". In this case I vote "that's awkward".
    – MetaEd
    Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 14:47

3 Answers 3


Feeling ambitious? So do we.

This isn't grammatical, and would only be acceptable in casual speech when people are used to letting grammatical errors go uncorrected because what was meant is obvious. In writing or non-casual speech the suggestion simply seems to be a mistake or a failure to copyedit, especially if (as it sounds) it were used as a business slogan or something similar.

The response has to agree in tense with the question:

Feeling ambitious? So are we.

Though this is technically present continuous, when in the context of a written statement representing a company or group it becomes an equally powerful statement as if it were in present simple, because it is always being affirmed in writing.


A more likely example would be Feeling happy? If the answer was Yes, then, assuming that was also the first speaker’s state, the third part of the exchange would normally be So am I, an ellipted form of the excessively formal I too am feeling happy.

  • I definitely agree with what you're saying, but it doesn't confirm or deny whether the 3rd example is an accepted exception or not.
    – Geoff
    Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 11:18
  • Accepted by who? The only sure test of the currency of either would be to run a carefully designed search on a reliable corpus. Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 11:29

Feeling ambitious?

expand to say "are you (present tense) feeling ambitious?" then the correct follow up is "so are (present tense) we!"

sounds good to my ear too

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