"I demand" or "I'm demanding"

frone

Senior Member
Bahasa
Greetings all,

May I ask which one is correct: "I demand" or "I'm demanding"?
(as in "I demand an apology from my boss")

Or if both are correct, do they have any difference in meaning/usage?

Thank you very much in advance :)
 
  • The Scrivener

    Banned
    England. English
    Greetings all,

    May I ask which one is correct: "I demand" or "I'm demanding"?
    (as in "I demand an apology from my boss")

    Or if both are correct, do they have any difference in meaning/usage?

    Thank you very much in advance :)
    Hello frone,

    One would usually say, "I demand an apology." If it wasn't forthcoming one could then say, "Did you hear me? I'm demanding an apology and I shan't leave until I get one."
     

    ElJamon

    New Member
    Finland, Finnish
    I demand -> You are doing it a the moment e.g. in a middle of a discussion you have been hurt and you reply: "I demand an apology".

    I am demanding -> you are in the process of demanding, e.g. you have been hurt and you have written a letter, which demands an apology. You could then comment this to some friend: "I sent them a letter. I am demanding an apology". That is, the process is ongoing and has not been resolved.

    A bit difficult to explain, but hope this helps :)
     

    frone

    Senior Member
    Bahasa
    Hi The Scrivener :)
    Many thanks for your reply.

    So, if I may conclude, "I'm demanding" is more 'stronger' and 'demanding' than "I demand"?

    Thank you :)
     

    frone

    Senior Member
    Bahasa
    And hi ElJamon, thank you for your reply :)

    From what I understand from your answer, is that true if my conclusion is "I'm demanding" emphasizes on process, while "I demand" emphasizes on action?

    Thank you once again! :)
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Hi The Scrivener :)
    Many thanks for your reply.

    So, if I may conclude, "I'm demanding" is more 'stronger' and 'demanding' than "I demand"?

    Thank you :)
    Actually, "I demand" is much stronger; it is more direct. It is what you would say to person from whom you want an apology. "I'm demanding" is more likely something you would say to someone else to explain what you were doing.

    For example, let's say that you're in a restaurant and the waiter says something extremely rude to you. You go to the hostess and say, "I want to see the manager immediately. I demand an apology for the rude remark your waiter made to me." The hostess scurries off to find the manager. Meanwhile, your spouse returns from the bathroom; he or she missed the whole incident. He or she says, "What are you doing up here at the front desk?" You reply, "I'm demanding an apology from the manager for a rude remark the waiter made to me."

    Does that help?
     

    The Scrivener

    Banned
    England. English
    Hi The Scrivener :)
    Many thanks for your reply.

    So, if I may conclude, "I'm demanding" is more 'stronger' and 'demanding' than "I demand"?

    Thank you :)
    "I demand" is a one off statement. "I'm demanding" is the present continuous, i.e. I demanded and now I am carrying on demanding. I shall keep on demanding until I get an apology. Demanding is more insistent rather than stronger than "demand".
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think the thing is that when a statement does not only describe a state of affairs, but creates it, we use the simple present. This is called the 'performative' use of the tense. So if I say I demand an apology, this very sentence is the medium through which I am demanding an apology; whereas if I say I am demanding an apology the listener may wonder whether I am writing a letter.

    Wikipedia gives these further examples of the 'performative' use of the present tense.
    'I do (sc. take this woman to be my lawful wedded wife)' -- as uttered in the course of the marriage ceremony.
    'I name this ship the "Queen Elizabeth"'
    'I give and bequeath my watch to my brother' -- as occurring in a will
    'I bet you sixpence it will rain tomorrow'
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Performative
     
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