Are you eating?

You may be asked this question in Asia. Don’t worry, you don’t look like a starving vagabond. Hopefully.

What they are actually trying to ask is: Have you eaten? Sudah makan? (Malay) Saappadu saaptiingala? (Tamil) And most of the time this question is not about food. It’s just a polite way to greet someone. It’s like asking ‘How are you?’ in English.

When people here speak English they tend to put the verbs into the Present Continuous whenever they are not sure which grammatical tense to use. I don’t know why but it looks like Present Continuous is the least scary English tense for them. You just need to tune your brain to automatically put the verbs you hear into a correct tense.

Update

Just found that the Present Continuous is popular not only in Asia. This is a job ad posted by a Ukrainian guy on a freelance web-site:

How many price ($/hours) PHP/Python developer in India? Thanks!
If here there is developers from India please writing inbox.

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Published in: on 13/07/2011 at 15:31  Leave a Comment  

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