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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Question - telephoning    

Question - telephoning



Mietz
Germany

Question - telephoning
 
When I īm on the phone I can say: "I īm calling about the order I placed."

However a student asked me today if it were also possible to say: "I call about the order I placed."

I think it sounds strange and I wouldn īt use it, but is it possible to use the Simple Present in that situation, too? I suppose it is a fact, that the person calls, which is a Simple Present function. But I īm not sure if it is correct.
What do you say?

Thanks for your help and have a lovely weekend!
Mietz

4 Feb 2011      



chrisel
Canada

It is not an action that is regularly repeated > you must use the present continuous, as you are doing the action right now.

4 Feb 2011     



Mietz
Germany

Thanks Chrisel!
I thought the same, but I also learnt, that the Simple Present can be used for facts (like: Water freezes at 0°C.) and when I call about an order, then that īs a fact, too. But as I said - I don īt think it īs right either.

4 Feb 2011     



eng789
Israel

I call about the order I placed every day but I still haven īt gotten through to them.

4 Feb 2011     



Mietz
Germany

Good point eng789! Thanks!

4 Feb 2011     



colibrita
United Kingdom

No, you explaining the reason for your call is not a fact. "I īm calling about the order" is the correct form. It īs an action happening now. Just as we begin emails "I īm writing to thank you for your wonderful present"

or we say "I can īt hear you very well, I īm calling from the train"

Think of water freezes at 0 as something that always happens, every time you do it, or it īs done.  Tigers can swim. They speakDutch in Holland.

If you want to use the present simple it would need to be in a context like, for example, "Every time I call about the order they īre very helpful."

or

"Jack calls about his order every day. He īs concerned it īs not going to arrive on time."  Here itīs a regular action.

There are however, exceptions: I promise I will do my homework. I suggest you try another bank. 

HTH!

4 Feb 2011     



blunderbuster
Germany

I understand why your student asked that, in quite formal business letters, people use the present simple instead of the present continuous....

5 Feb 2011     



Mietz
Germany

Thanks everybody for your helpful replies! :-)

5 Feb 2011