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  1. #1
    The French is offline Senior Member
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    Question Past simple VS Present perfect continuous.

    Hello, I am learning English,

    but I a little confused about the use of the past simple and the present perfect continuous.

    I give you one example below:

    I have been playing tennis.

    or
    I was playing tennis.

    What difference do you make in the meaning between these both sentences?

    Thank in advance for your replies and if it is possible can you give me some examples.

    See you soon (Do not hesitate to correct my mistakes, I am just a brgginner and my grammar is very poor).

  2. #2
    sarat_106 is offline Key Member
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    Exclamation Re: Past simple VS Present perfect continuous.

    Quote Originally Posted by The French View Post
    Hello, I am learning English,

    but I a little confused about the use of the past simple and the present perfect continuous.

    I give you one example below:

    I have been playing tennis.(playing action is continuing - may be since 2 hours)

    or
    I was playing tennis (at 4 pm yesterday). (Playing action completed - may be yesterday)

    What difference do you make in the meaning between these both sentences? see the explanation below.

    Thank in advance for your replies and if it is possible can you give me some examples.

    See you soon (Do not hesitate to correct my mistakes, I am just a brgginner and my grammar is very poor).
    The Present Perfect Continuous is used to show an action started in the past and continuing up till now
    Example: I have been reading this book since morning/three hours .(Reading action continuing, It can also mean that this action is not continuously ongoing because it may be a voluminuous book. It starts and stops at intervals. )
    The Present Perfect Continuous is also used to show an action started in the past and may or may not be continuing now
    Example: .I have been reading this book for the whole day .(Reading action may or may not be continuing, Here the action may not also be continuous. One could say I was reading the book for two hours in the morning (past continuous)and then after lunch I read it for one hour (simple past) and I am now reading the book.(present continuous))
    Look how the past continuous expresses a past action at a definite time in the past.
    So you can keep in mind that present perfect continuous expresses a continuing or ongoing state or condition while the past continuous expresses a completed past action at certain specific time.
    Last edited by sarat_106; 04-Sep-2009 at 16:58.

  3. #3
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Re: Past simple VS Present perfect continuous.

    Quote Originally Posted by The French View Post


    I have been playing tennis.

    vs

    I was playing tennis.
    "I was playing tennis" is the imperfect, but implies a single occasion, or the habit taken as a whole: Quand j'étais petit, je jouais au tennis.

    I have been playing tennis is also an imperfect form, but implies repetitive iterations, and sounds to native speakers like it has been recent rather than far off:

    Je ne répondais pas à vos appels cette semaine car je jouais au tennis tous les matins.
    Last edited by konungursvia; 13-Sep-2009 at 15:06. Reason: missing word

  4. #4
    The French is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Past simple VS Present perfect continuous.

    Hello,

    Here is the French, I believe I understand better now the subtleties between these both tenses.

    Merci pour l'usage de l'imparfait et la traduction.

    Have a nice day.

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