"Perché tu non leggi all'uomo?"
'I'm reading/I read to the man': leggo all'uomo: Is that correct?
'why aren't you reading to the man?'/' why don't you read to to man?' : Perché non leggi all'uomo? Is that correct? I was told only the second is correct by duolingo
I'm confused about when present simple can mean present continuous. Thanks
From a practical point of view: avert using the present continuous. It will cost you half a wood of owls otherwise.
In fact I am too. I don't really know when to use pesent simple or continuous. Italian has the construction :"sto leggendo il libro" >> I am reading the book in the meaning that I am engaged in the activity of reading the book. But it is much less frequent than the English version. I believe the Italian is more specific than the English "I am reading a book" but if there is somebody out there who can explain better, please do.
Is it because the present continuous tense focuses more specifically onto an action that is currently taking place, not one that is not taking place? I think we could probably do with some expert guidance over this one but my understanding is that the present simple (mangio = I eat, I am eating) and the present continuous (sto mangiando = I am eating) are more or less interchangeable except in negative constructions?
You may be right. Anyway: in Italian it is not half as common as in English. Don't use the construction except in: Mi ha chiamato mentre stavo mangiando. He called me as I was eating or something like that where it is clear that the action was taking place.
Present continuous is really only used for things that are actually happening in real time. It is much less common in Italian than English or Spanish and you can pretty much get away without using it at all.
Example: If you are sitting and reading a book - "Sto leggendo un libro." BUT: If someone asks you if you are generally reading any books - "Leggo un libro."