present continuous (rhetorical questions)

Point 35 in PRESENT continuous is defined as:

question forms to ask rhetorical questions.


For example, the first three questions asked the speaker does not expect an answer.

So we said that we have seven million deaths caused by air pollution every year. Are we panicking? Are we keeping calm? Are we declaring a national disaster, a global emergency? Well, no, and in fact, I’m asking myself this question every day: What is happening?


*There is no way to catch rhetoric in corpora, so let’s examine the EGP examples:

A search in iWeb for:

am|is|are _PPIS _VVG * ?

1 AM I MISSING SOMETHING ? 5341
2 ARE WE TALKING ABOUT ? 1576
3 ARE WE LOOKING FOR ? 1178
4 AM I TALKING ABOUT ? 737
5 AM I MISSING HERE ? 734
6 ARE WE WAITING FOR ? 411
7 AM I LOOKING FOR ? 271
8 AM I MISSING ANYTHING ? 258
9 AM I LOOKING AT ? 232
10 ARE WE LOOKING AT ? 199
11 ARE WE TALKING HERE ? 159
12 AM I GOING WRONG ? 129
13 AM I MAKING SENSE ? 103
14 ARE WE MISSING SOMETHING ? 101
15 AM I MISSING ? ? 98
16 AM I GOING CRAZY ? 78
17 ARE WE FIGHTING FOR ? 78
18 AM I WRITING THIS ? 74
19 ARE WE LIVING IN ? 67
20 AM I OVERTHINKING THIS ? 65
21 AM I OVERLOOKING SOMETHING ? 64
22 AM I WAITING FOR ? 62
23 AM I GETTING AT ? 61
24 AM I SAYING THIS ? 57
25 AM I MISUNDERSTANDING SOMETHING ? 56
26 AM I PAYING FOR ? 50
27 AM I REFERRING TO ? 49
28 AM I MISSING IT ? 45
29 ARE WE DEALING WITH ? 39
30 AM I THINKING OF ? 38
31 ARE WE WORKING ON ? 37
32 AM I HOLDING UP ? 35
33 ARE WE PAYING FOR ? 35
34 AM I TALKING TO ? 33
35 ARE WE GOING NEXT ? 33
36 AM I GOING MAD ? 32
37 AM I FORGETTING SOMETHING ? 31
38 AM I MISSING OUT ? 31
39 AM I SEEING THINGS ? 31
40 AM I OVERTHINKING IT ? 29
41 AM I LISTENING TO ? 28
42 ARE WE GOING NOW ? 27
43 AM I SPEAKING TO ? 26
44 AM I SAYING HERE ? 25
45 ARE WE REFERRING TO ? 24
46 AM I SHARING THIS ? 23
47 ARE WE MISSING ANYTHING ? 23
48 AM I LIVING FOR ? 22
49 ARE WE MISSING HERE ? 22
50 AM I COMPLAINING ABOUT ? 21
51 AM I GOING INSANE ? 21
52 AM I WORKING ON ? 20
53 AM I IMAGINING IT ? 20
54 AM I MISUNDERSTANDING YOU ? 20
55 AM I READING THIS ? 20
56 ARE WE KIDDING HERE ? 20
57 AM I POSTING THIS ? 19
58 ARE WE COMING TO ? 19
59 ARE WE ASKING FOR ? 19
60 AM I UNDERSTANDING CORRECTLY ? 19
61 AM I SELLING IT ? 19
62 ARE WE GETTING THERE ? 19
63 ARE WE GOING WRONG ? 19
64 ARE WE USING IT ? 19
65 ARE WE LEARNING THIS ? 18
66 ARE WE LIVING FOR ? 18
67 ARE WE SAYING HERE ? 18
68 AM I SEEING THIS ? 17
69 AM I THINKING RIGHT ? 17
70 AM I DEALING WITH ? 17
71 AM I IMAGINING THAT ? 17
72 AM I KIDDING HERE ? 17
73 AM I KIDDING MYSELF ? 16
74 AM I FORGETTING ANYTHING ? 16
75 ARE WE SEEING HERE ? 16
76 AM I FEELING NOW ? 15
77 AM I EXPERIENCING PERIMENOPAUSE ? 15
78 AM I BORING YOU ? 15
79 AM I GOING NEXT ? 15
80 AM I IMAGINING THINGS ? 15
81 ARE WE RUNNING FROM ? 15
82 ARE WE WAITING ON ? 15
83 AM I MISSING ANY ? 14
84 ARE WE GOING TO ? 14
85 ARE WE MAKING PROGRESS ? 14
86 ARE WE STUDYING THIS ? 14
87 ARE WE WORKING WITH ? 14
88 AM I MENTIONING THIS ? 13
89 AM I SAYING THEN ? 13
90 AM I KIDDING ! ? 13
91 ARE WE SPEAKING OF ? 13
92 AM I GIVING AWAY ? 12
93 ARE WE DEALING HERE ? 12
94 ARE WE GOING TODAY ? 12
95 AM I WRITING FOR ? 11
96 AM I WATCHING THIS ? 11
97 AM I VOTING FOR ? 11
98 AM I SITTING HERE ? 11
99 AM I THINKING CORRECTLY ? 11
100 AM I THINKING ABOUT ? 11