In Slavic languages there is no continuous tense. There is only one word which implies, that situation is happening in the continuous tense. It is added to the meaning and means time condition. The continuous moment is described as "right now", literraly translated into English language. Please take my word for it...
To be honest, I don't understand about half of your comment, but the part that I do get, is definitely wrong.
There are about a dozen verb pairs which do distinguish habitual from continuous action. They are usually referred to as verbs of motion or verbs of movement:
- biegać/biec, jeździć/jechać, pływać/płynąć, nosić/nieść, wozić/wieźć, latać/lecieć, chodzić/iść.
The ones implying continuous action are called determinate (biec, jechać, iść...), whereas the habitual ones are referred to as indeterminate (biegać, jeździć, chodzić...).
But please don't take my word for it, look it up...
Generally, Present Simple "to go (on foot), to walk" translate to "chodzić", Present Continuous "to be going (on foot), to be walking" translate to "iść", unless it's just "walking" around without any specific direction/destination, which is again "chodzić".
And the school context somehow messes with this distinction because of some idiomatic English usage :/
If I wanted to emphasize the fact that she walks, and doesn't drive or go by car, I would say "Ona chodzi pieszo do szkoły". "Idzie" doesn't emphasize the "walking" any more than "chodzi" does. Btw, in Ukrainian I would also say "вона ходить до школи пішки" without ever using "йде" for this purpose.
I've consulted our team of contributors and a native speaker of English confirmed that "she goes to school" doesn't make sense when talking about the future event of starting school. Here's a quote:
For scheduled attendance, you could have something like "She goes to school every Wednesday", but it doesn't really work for a one-off scheduled event. "She [is going/will go] to school next Wednesday" would be what I would consider to be normal.
So, the continuous aspect is the only possible option here.
Edit: After some research I found out that some speakers do indeed use present simple to indicate that someone is about to start school, but this only seems to work with additional adverbs of time, otherwise this meaning will not be understood. So the case for present simple is still not strong enough to add it here.
I think this whole discussion sheds light on something my Polish fiancee says. Whereas we would say, "she goes to school", meaning she attends school; my partner says "she is walking to school" when she uses English.
I'm finding an interesting side effect od this course is a greater understanding of the issues facing ESOL speakers, particularly dealing with the different tenses and lack of articles in Polish.
Thank you. I have always wondered what the distinction was between the two. You do realize though that no such temporal differentiation is made in the English. This leaves the question of translation a valid one as the English text may not give you the needed information to render that specification. Do you have any tios in this regard - apart from limited reliance on context?