In the U.S., they are not quite interchangeable.
From a reference: "Chair is the furniture. Seat is more abstract. Seat can also be the flat part of the chair."
Examples illustrating differences:
"There are 300 chairs stored in the closet, which will provide 300 seats for 300 people. This chair is made of wood, but its seat is made of cloth.
This is my seat (I'm sitting on it now), but it is your chair (you own the furniture).
You should always give up your seat to an elderly person."
Another set of illustrations: [Note the British spellings in this. Perhaps the writer is a Brit?]
"seat refers to:
1.A space reserved for sitting (as in a theatre or on a train or aeroplane) "he booked their seats [chairs???] in advance".
2. Furniture that is designed for sitting on:
"there were not enough seats for all the guests".
3. Any support where you can sit (especially the part of a chair or bench etc. on which you sit):
"he dusted off the seat before sitting down".
4.The cloth covering for the buttocks:
"the seat [chair???] of his pants was worn through".
While "chair" refers to:
1.A seat for one person, with a support for the back:
"he put his coat over the back of the chair and sat down".
2.An instrument of execution by electrocution; resembles an ordinary seat for one person:
"the murderer was sentenced to die in the chair" [not "electric seat".]
OrchidBlack, Yes, I forgot I was doing the "Present 3" review, & I translated it as "filled," but was not marked wrong, although the translation at the top of this page was present tense.
By the way, two questions: how do you keep a nearly 1400-day streak going with 25 languages -- do you just have to do a lesson (or whatever you set as your goal) per day in any ONE of them? I have been curious about that for years. Secondly, did you take your screen name from the television series by the same name? That actress who played all of the clones was FANTASTIC!
Yes, that's the present continuous tense. It's not a direct translation of the sentence, and changes the meaning slightly.
- Q: What do you do when you find an empty, boring room?
A: We fill the room with chairs.
Q: What are you doing now?
- A: We're filling the room with chairs.
It would be an excellent idea to learn about your own native language in order to learn another. But it surprises me how little I have actually learned about English from English classes; they should just teach Language. Like, not teaching a specific language, but using examples from languages all over the world to teach about how languages evolve and stuff.
This assumption that present continuous must relate to this particular moment of time and that simple present must not is false. You could just as easily say 'Watch me as I fill the room with chairs' while you do it and you can say 'We are filling the room with chairs today' when you are currently have a break or lunch or something. The distinction here isn't about the concrete moment of time versus general statements, it's about continuous/progressive versus discrete actions. And buenasolas' translation is correct.
Thanks for responding. My point is that the distinction is about discrete versus progressive, even without any extra content that is the fundamental difference between "I do it" and "I am doing it", as opposed to the difference being concrete in the moment versus hypothetical/generalities. Cheers, Ben.
Estamos llenando. Present progressive is made with estar. And there is actually a bit of overlap here, Spanish uses present simple pretty much except when the action is being performed right at that moment, where English could be using the present progressive for ongoing actions that aren't happening right at that moment. For instance, you wouldn't say "Estoy trabajando en la tienda" unless you were there, actually working, at that moment, whereas in English you could be having a beer with your buddies and use the sentence to describe what you do daily.