Learn English – “I’m having” – an illness

grammarterminology

What is I'm having in grammar terms? Is it something near the present, the near future? As in I'm having a party tomorrow?

Example (not about the near future),

I'm having trouble coming up with a reliable method of comparing sets of data.

Couldn't it be the following simpler version without any change in meaning?

I have trouble coming up with a reliable method of comparing sets of data.

Best Answer

I am having trouble is written using the present continuous tense (also called present progressive tense).

The progressive tenses are used to put emphasis on the described event being in progress; the progressive also indicates habitual actions (I am walking a lot more now).

The interpretation that I would give to the sentences you wrote is

  • "I'm having trouble coming up with a reliable method of comparing sets of data." — you are searching a reliable method also in the moment you are saying/writing that.
  • "I have trouble coming up with a reliable method of comparing sets of data." — You cannot find a reliable method for comparing sets of data and you are searching a reliable method when you are saying/writing that, or you stopped searching for such method.

There is a difference between I have trouble and I had trouble, as the latter one means that you found a way to compare sets of data in a reliable way (and your trouble is done).