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General Writing and Grammar Help/taking a bus vs riding a bus

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Question
Hi Ms. Martha,

Thank you very much for your prompt reply last time!

Now I have another question.

Usually we say "taking a bus." But why many people say "riding a bus"
nowadays?

Thanks!

Walden

Answer
Now, here is a fine distinction if you care to draw one!

~~

=Taking a bus= means you are deciding on which mode of transportation you wish to use.  It connotes something happening in the future.  Note, however, that the verb is present tense because making the decision is happening in the present.
I am taking the bus to the market.

You also could use future tense.
I will take the bus to the museum.

~~

=Riding a bus= means you are ON the bus and connotes present tense.
(cell phone call) No, I'm not home yet.  I'm still riding the bus.

~~

Either is fine, however, in American English.  Both indicate a fluent speaker.

~~

You are very welcome.  I'm happy to help.  That's why I'm here.
mb

General Writing and Grammar Help

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Martha Beth Lewis

Expertise

I will answer questions having to do with grammar, plurals, punctuation, capitalization, mood, person, tense, and so on, as well as word usage and word choice. If you want a quick answer to a specific question, particularly if you wish to use formal American English for business or academic purposes (MLA), I can give you a timely response. I also can address word choice, clarity, structure, and similar concerns involving English as a second language. If you want advice of a deeper editorial nature (e.g., substantive [line] editing), please consult an Expert who offers this sort of assistance; I do not offer this sort of assistance.

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I was employed as an editor for the graduate school at a major U.S. university and specialized in dissertations. I have over 200 publications in professional journals, consumer magazines, and newspapers. I am the author of five books and numerous syllabi in an arts field. I also am a freelance line editor, copy editor, and proofreader (over 40 years), and I have written or edited countless community organizations' newsletters and promotional materials.

Organizations
Note: When using a word as a word in a sentence, such as: Put a period after the word dog, =dog= should be set in italics. Since I do not have access to italics here, I shall use = on either side of the word or phrase that properly should appear in italics. For the above example: Put a period after the word =dog=. Also, ~~please do not mark your questions as private~~. I will change them to public because I don't want to type the same answer twice! Thanks for your understanding.

Publications
If you submit a question to other Experts or the pool, I'd appreciate it if you would >>NOT<< submit it to me, also. It's like asking several people out on a date and choosing among those who said yes! This implies my time and particular expertise are worth nothing to you. I want to spend my time responding to those who find my qualifications germane to their question. Remember: I'm a volunteer!

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Education B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa Ph.D.

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I ask that you >>COME BACK TO READ MY RESPONSE<<. I've taken time to write the best response I can, so you should come back to read it! It's disheartening to respond to a question, only to see later that the person has not bothered to come back. Remember: I'm a volunteer!

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I am happy to help you - that's why I volunteered - but please remember I *am* a volunteer and extend me normal courtesies, such as no multiple submissions and not bothering to come back for your answer. mb

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