“I live” and “I’m living” can be used interchangeably to describe where one has made their home. However, we can imply or hint that something is long-term or temporary by using either the present simple or present continuous tense.
|I live||I’m living|
|Long term or permanent||Short-term or temporary|
Permanent or Temporary?
Using the present simple implies something long-term or permanent, whereas the present continuous implies something short-term or temporary.
- Present simple: “I live in Australia.”
This implies a sense of permanency. (This is where I call home.)
- Present continuous: “I’m living in Australia.”
This implies a temporary situation. (I’m here for a few years.)
- Present simple: “I work for the government.”
This implies the job is long term. (I would like to retire from this company.)
- Present continuous: “I’m working for the government.”
This implies the job is short term. (I’m not sure if I want to work here for the rest of my life.)
* Please note: It’s not always clear if temporary situations are planned.
When it comes to using the present continuous tense, the listener may not always know if the temporary situation is a plan or a feeling.
Temporary situation: “I’m living in Australia.”
Plan: “I’m living in Australia, but I’m moving to Japan to teach English next year.”
Feeling: “I’m living in Australia, but I’d like to try living in a different country in the future.”
Original posts: 3 September 2018