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  1. #1
    ostap77 is offline Key Member
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    Default star with one tense and end up with another

    1)" I've been reading this dialog." 2)"Somehow I didn't memorize it."

    The first part no doubt. The second one refers to a point in the past.

    Is it possible in coloquiall speech to start with the Present Perfect Progressive and end up with the Past Simple?

  2. #2
    apbl's Avatar
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    Default Re: star with one tense and end up with another

    It would be possible in a dialogue:

    Bob: "I've been working hard in the garden recently."
    Ann: "Really? Why is that?"
    Bob: "Well, I suppose because I didn't do much gardening during the winter."

    In effect though, Bob's first statement is connected to the present whereas his second statement is not.

  3. #3
    ostap77 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: star with one tense and end up with another

    Quote Originally Posted by apbl View Post
    It would be possible in a dialogue:

    Bob: "I've been working hard in the garden recently."
    Ann: "Really? Why is that?"
    Bob: "Well, I suppose because I didn't do much gardening during the winter."

    In effect though, Bob's first statement is connected to the present whereas his second statement is not.
    Suppose you're in a class. Teacher wants you to read a dialog. You know all the words and stuff but didn't feel like memorizing it.

    "I've been reading it."

    "Step in front of the class please."

    "I didn't memorize it."

  4. #4
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    Default Re: star with one tense and end up with another

    I think in your example the "not memorizing" is still clerarly tied to the present since it is the reason why you don't want to step up in front of the class and consequently would be better with a present perfect: "I haven't memorized it".

  5. #5
    ostap77 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: star with one tense and end up with another

    Quote Originally Posted by apbl View Post
    I think in your example the "not memorizing" is still clerarly tied to the present since it is the reason why you don't want to step up in front of the class and consequently would be better with a present perfect: "I haven't memorized it".

    How about this one. You are venting to your friends about work.

    "We have been kicking this idea around."

    "So?"

    "Didn't come up with any results."

  6. #6
    ostap77 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: star with one tense and end up with another

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    How about this one. You are venting to your friends about work.

    "We have been kicking this idea around."

    "So?"

    "Didn't come up with any results."
    Does it work in this context?

    "She's been working on losing her accent a lot. She got a nice one."

  7. #7
    ostap77 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: star with one tense and end up with another

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    Does it work in this context?

    "She's been working on losing her accent a lot. She got a nice one."
    I just came up with another one.

    "I've been trying to ask her out."

    "So?"

    "She never agreed."

  8. #8
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    Default Re: star with one tense and end up with another

    In British English I think you will find that all your examples which start off with a present perfect progressive tense would be followed up with a present perfect and not a past simple. However, I believe that American English if far less rigid regarding the difference in use between the past simple and the present perfect. For example in American English you can say (correct me if I'm wrong), "We did it already", whereas in British English we would almost invariably say, "We have already done it". So maybe in American English the follow up with the past simple is more possible.
    Last edited by apbl; 13-Oct-2010 at 15:58. Reason: typo!

  9. #9
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: star with one tense and end up with another

    All of those examples would work better with the present perfect in the second part, because they relate to what is going on right now.

    I've been asking.... but she hasn't agreed.
    I've been reviewing... but I haven't memorized.
    We've been kicking around... but haven't come up with anything.


    I hear over and over (ad nauseum) how Americans don't use the present perfect (although I'm not referring to your post in particular, abpl), and we do. Really. We do. I have found that "Did you... yet" or "I just [simple past]" are examples where we use simple past where others use present perfect, but that doesn't mean we just use it wherever and whenever. I would not use simple past in your examples.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: star with one tense and end up with another

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I hear over and over (ad nauseum) how Americans don't use the present perfect (although I'm not referring to your post in particular, abpl), and we do. Really. We do. I have found that "Did you... yet" or "I just [simple past]" are examples where we use simple past where others use present perfect, but that doesn't mean we just use it wherever and whenever. I would not use simple past in your examples.
    I didn't mean to imply that Americans don't use the present perfect but that my impression is that they are less rigid regarding its use and that therfore it is more feasible for a past simple to slip in where it probably wouldn't in British English

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