Quick question about which tense is used for habitual actions

I’ve been trying to brush up on my grammar recently, and I stumbled upon something I wanted to verify. So, in English, when we talk about something that happens regularly, we use the simple present tense. E.g. “I eat breakfast everyday.”

Reading online, it seems that Japanese uses the present progressive form. E.g. 「私は毎日朝ごはんを食べています。」

Is this correct, or am I making a mistake?

Thanks in advance.

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Yes, ている can be used for habitual actions. It’s just one of the uses of that form. You can also use the simple non-past, more like what I think you imagined in your direct translation.

As a side note, I would hesitate to always call ている the present progressive form. Sometimes it does express the present progressive. Other times it doesn’t, like when it expresses a change of state that is still in effect, but no progress is taking place. This is why we say 知っている for “I know,” because 知る means “to acquire knowledge” and describes the instant of the change, and then ている implies the new state (that you know the information) is still in effect. But nothing is progressing or happening actively.


Thanks. Yeah, I struggle a bit with what to call the different forms myself when trying to describe them in English, as they don’t have one-to-one correlaries. So I usually just try to call them by the closest thing that they are operating as in the moment.

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