Why English is Weird : Is anybody sitting here?

Why English is Weird : Is anybody sitting here?


Hey guys, When we go out to a movie or to a theater show or even to travel by bus or train we have to navigate large open seating areas that are full of other people. how rude! In English we must talk to them or acknowledge them if we want to sit next to them. If you a see an empty seat that is next to somebody you must ask “is anybody sitting here?” It would be rude to say nothing and just take the seat. But, “is anybody sitting here?” sounds a bit peculiar because it is an empty seat so clearly nobody is sitting in it right now. this is a question that asks “is anybody
in the process of sitting here generally now” It is very similar to another question we often ask our friends which is “what are you reading now” This does not mean what are you reading right
now It is a general question that asks what are you in the process of reading generally now. We often ask this if we want a recommendation or to hear about something new and nteresting. “Is anybody sitting here?” is in the same category. We are asking if anybody is in the process
of using this seat for the event. perhaps they might have gone to the bathroom or maybe the person sitting next to the empty
seat is saving it for someone else. So we say “is anybody sitting here?” for this event. We also sometimes say “is this seat taken?” This is correct, but quite formal. I would only say it if I were at the opera or somewhere else really fancy. Normally we just say “is anybody sitting
here?” Thanks for watching ! Bye for now!

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