| #2 (permalink) Tue Aug 08, 2006 20:29 pm Are always doing smth
You've made a very good point, and I understand what you mean, however, I would differentiate the two test questions in a couple of ways. (I've given them the numbers 1 + 2 for easier reference)
1. In this sentence, it's not so much what Sarah always says that annoys Mike, but the fact that she doesn't do what she says she'll do afterwards. There might possibly enough annoyance on Mike's part to use the continuous form (indicating annoyance) in such a situation, but there are a couple of additional reasons not to choose the present continuous in the test question:
- The "standard" or most typical word order would be: are always saying and that's not one of the options in the test.
- The most typical sentence would be "You're always saying that." (i.e., focus on the person who does the annoying thing right at the beginning of the sentence: You)
- Using the simple present tense is never incorrect when speaking about repeated, regular actions --- even when you're annoyed. And the simple present tense was given as an option.
- "That's what you always say." is a fairly fixed expression.
2. In this question, the use of the simple present tense is also possible, but it is not given as an option. Also, unlike 1, you'll notice that this sentence focuses very directly on the person who is annoying (the sentence begins with He). Additionally, the correct "standard" word order is also given in the possible answers ("is always doing").
I hope that helps.
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