Learn English – Do you use/Are you using


A colleague asked me which of these sentences is correct, or if they are both correct which is better to use.

  1. Are you using the current template version?
  2. Do you use the current template version?

I recommended using the first sentence but only because it sounds better to me.

Is there anything grammatically wrong with the second sentence or does it convey a different meaning to the first sentence?

Best Answer

"Are you using…" refers to what you are currently doing, though there's nothing about it that distinguishes from an instantaneous time-frame (what you are doing right now) a short one (today, perhaps) or a very long one covering years or more.

"Do you use…" refers to what one tends to do.

For that reason, if you want to be specific as to what the person is doing at the time you ask them, or perhaps to the context of a specific project, then "are you using…" is better while if you want to ask about what the best approach is generally, then "do you use…" is better.

In many cases those will both amount to the same thing, and either would be absolutely fine.

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