In Esperanto courses for English speakers, one is taught somewhat early on that one should prefer to use simple tenses and avoid going overboard in trying to express aspect with active participles. For example, one would be taught to say "li kuras" instead of "li estas kuranta", because...
- ...Esperanto does not express or need to express aspect like English does,
- ...and the latter is more so an expression of state rather than action.
To me, this should be pretty common knowledge by now early on in the learning process, as it seems to be one of the most often corrected things in the beginner phase. However, from what I could tell in my journey learning Esperanton, there seems to have been somewhat of a "stigma", in some circles (though probably plejparte la lernigaj), against the use of active participles with "esti". I understand it to be a sort of "training" to prevent students from developing English-stinted Esperantan speaking, but it seems to be infecting my own speech, too, in that I have a habit of avoiding such use of participles, even where it would actually be taŭga or beneficial in adding meaning. For example, there are times where I really do mean to express state of being as opposed to an action.
Li estas kuranta.
If I were to say something like that, then I mean to say that he is one of the running ones, as opposed to, for example, the sitting ones over there. I would emphasize his state of running as opposed to his action of running. However, without this clarification, the phrase alone may come across to some as an Englishism. This is partly why I end up saying the following instead, just to avoid seeming a little English-stinted.
Li estas unu el la kurantaj.
I specifically used this example, because "estas X-anta" seems to be the least used and least useful in practice, apart from niche uses like the above. Of all the possible combinations of active participles, I have practical uses for only a few, which are namely...
- ...expressing state as opposed to action, as mentioned above,
- ...expressing daŭrecon (e.g. in "li estis mortanta" where "li mortis" would be ambiguous),
- ...and for expressing relativity (see the accepted answer to Tempo de verbo post "kiam", "dum", "post/antaŭ ol", ktp for an example).
I admit that I have never actually spoken Esperanton outside of academic and otherwise lernigaj circles, and this "stigma" is just my perception as a learner myself and as an aspiring teacher. I am pretty sure that these uses are indeed legitimate and acceptable in the maloftaj okazoj where they're actually useful, and that the "stigma" is just for students, but I am nonetheless still curious about how such use of participles is perceived in real world Esperanta parolado. Would it still seem excessive even if "sounding English-stinted" were not a concern?