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  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
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    He has painted the drawing for 2 years

    In a, c, is he still painting or has he just finished painting? Progressive present perfect such as b,d definitely mean the current happening of an action, but basic present perfect form sounds vague. I've posted a similar question before, but the answer in my mind isn't still clear.

    a. He has painted the drawing for 2 years.
    b. He has been painting the drawing for 2 years.
    c. He has painted the drawing since 2 years ago.
    d. He has been painting the drawing since 2 years ago.
    Last edited by keannu; 22-Dec-2011 at 08:38.

  2. #2
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    Re: He has painted the drawing for 2 years

    None is acceptable. You don't paint drawings.

    a. He has painted the picture for 2 years. no
    b. He has been painting the picture for 2 years. fine.
    c. He has painted the picture since 2 years ago. no
    d. He has been painting the picture for 2 years this is the same as #b

  3. #3
    keannu's Avatar
    keannu is offline Key Member
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    Re: He has painted the drawing for 2 years

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    None is acceptable. You don't paint drawings.

    a. He has painted the picture for 2 years. no
    b. He has been painting the picture for 2 years. fine.
    c. He has painted the picture since 2 years ago. no
    d. He has been painting the picture for 2 years this is the same as #b
    I mistyped for d, but I guess it's correct.
    d. He has been painting the drawing since 2 years ago.
    So for actions verbs with a defnite ending, a and c don't make sense?
    My grammar books says for action verbs that can have a definite ending, a and c sound awkward, but for "state verbs" such as "work, stay, wait" progressive and basic mean the same thing. Could you check the below if they have the same meaning?

    a. He has waited here for two hours.
    b. He has been waiting her for two hours.

  4. #4
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    Re: He has painted the drawing for 2 years

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    I mistyped for d, but I guess it's correct.
    d. He has been painting the drawing since 2 years ago. Unnatural
    So for actions verbs with a defnite ending, a and c don't make sense? They make sense; they are just not what any native speaker would say/write.
    My grammar books says for action verbs that can have a definite ending, a and c sound awkward, I 'd say 'unnatural' rather than 'awkward'.but for "state verbs" such as "work, stay, wait" progressive and basic non-progressive mean the same thing. Could you check the below if they have the same meaning?

    a. He has waited here for two hours.I feel that this is more likely if the speaker feels that 'He' may be about to stop waiting.
    b. He has been waiting her for two hours.This emphasises the duration and/or the on-goingness of the waiting.
    As always, full context will be a guide to what is meant.

  5. #5
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    Re: He has painted the drawing for 2 years

    d. He has been painting the drawing since 2 years ago. Unnatural
    => Can you tell me what this is unnatural? I can't find any difference between this and b. b and d both seem to mean a currently happening action since the starting time..
    b. He has been painting the picture for 2 years.

    a. He has painted the picture for 2 years. no
    c. He has painted the picture since 2 years ago. no
    => I think the reason why these sound unnatural is that "painted" is a completed action while "for 2 years" and "since 2 years ago" mean progressive action, so completed action and progressive action are contradictory. Aren't they?

    a. He has waited here for two hours.I feel that this is more likely if the speaker feels that 'He' may be about to stop waiting.
    b. He has been waiting her for two hours.This emphasises the duration and/or the on-goingness of the waiting.
    =>For this, my grammar book's detail is like this
    *When verbs themselves show "continuity" like learn, study, lie, live, rain, sit, stand, sleep, wait, work,etc, non-progressive and progressive have little difference.
    ex)I have worked for Intel for 15 years = I have been working for Intel for 15 years.

    You've shaken my belief in this, so I'd like to know if I have to follow this rule.


  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: He has painted the drawing for 2 years

    I think the reason why these sound unnatural is that "painted" is a completed action while "for 2 years" and "since 2 years ago" mean progressive action, so completed action and progressive action are contradictory. Aren't they?
    Not always- when you say to someone I've been waiting for two hours, the waiting may have ended and the emphasis is on the duration not the state of completion.

    You keep trying to place all the emphasis on verb forms in isolation, which is not a natural thing to do. If you place things in context, they often become clearer. The finer points of meaning cannot be reduced in this way to mere mathematical steps. None of your examples is in a wider context, so they are all artificial. If you could open your eyes to a wider context and spend less time trampling on the graves of tenses and verb forms, it might help you.

    You're trying to reduce dancing to the shoes people wear IMO.

    Tenses and forms are indicators and not the be-all and end-all, but you keep trying to make them that. Isolated sentences are not examples of usage- they are by their nature artificial. You are barking up the wrong tree IMO by trying to establish black and white absolutes where language is about flux and shades.

  7. #7
    keannu's Avatar
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    Re: He has painted the drawing for 2 years

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Not always- when you say to someone I've been waiting for two hours, the waiting may have ended and the emphasis is on the duration not the state of completion.

    You keep trying to place all the emphasis on verb forms in isolation, which is not a natural thing to do. If you place things in context, they often become clearer. The finer points of meaning cannot be reduced in this way to mere mathematical steps. None of your examples is in a wider context, so they are all artificial. If you could open your eyes to a wider context and spend less time trampling on the graves of tenses and verb forms, it might help you.

    You're trying to reduce dancing to the shoes people wear IMO.

    Tenses and forms are indicators and not the be-all and end-all, but you keep trying to make them that. Isolated sentences are not examples of usage- they are by their nature artificial. You are barking up the wrong tree IMO by trying to establish black and white absolutes where language is about flux and shades.
    I understand what you are talking about, and if I didn't misundertand you, I think the conclusion is that any meaning is contextual, but I'd rather think it depends on your experience as a native speaker. The reason why I strive to know about this formula-like things is that I have to explain the grammar in the book to my students. And I know it's flexible, but anyway I have to explain some kind of fixed(there's no fixed) rules to them. I can't only say this is always affected by context, so you don't have to memorize basic rules. And this grammar book and other materials give me different information, causing confusion to me.

    As a native Korean speaker, I don't care about Korean grammar and I don't know how Korean grammar goes and I don't want to know about it as I live farely well without depending on it. It's all because my Korean has been accumulated throughout my entire life, so I know which is natural and which is unnatural.

    I really regret I'm not a native speaker, so there always seems to be a limitation in understanding English grammar, but I'll do my best. I also explain to my students emphasizing the importance of context and most meanings can vary depending on context. But what I need is the basic rules including variable possibilities in context.

    I think this problem comes from my not being a native speaker without full and deep experience, but anyway I will ask you to a certain extent where it doesn't feel such a headache, and I need your understanding, thank you for your kind answer!

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