How often are you buying (Present Continuous)

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New Member
Hello people. Is it possible to create a question using how often + present continuous? I was reading a kid's notebook and I found something several questions like 'how often are you buying cakes?' I immediately thought he had to change it for Simple present but he said his teacher told him that it was okay. I would be grateful if you could give me a little help.
  • Bevj

    Allegra Moderata (Sp/Eng, Cat)
    English (U.K.)
    Welcome to the forums :)

    In BrE, I would usually expect 'How often do you buy cakes?'
    Perhaps in AE it is different; you don't say which part of the world you are referring to.


    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    "How often are you buying cakes?" doesn't sound like a neutral question to me. It sounds either like the person asking the question disapproves of the buying cakes or else there is something very exceptional or temporary about it. Since there is no context, I'll have to invent one.
    -- Another cake?
    -- Yes, I have had such a craving for chocolate recently. I can't get enough of it.
    -- How often are you buying cakes? Two or three times a day?

    For any neutral, every day question of general interest I'd say "How often do you buy cakes?" It would never be wrong to say that.
    I do think in recent years there has been a tendency to use a bit more present progressive in AE in contexts where traditionally people wouldn't have said it.
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