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Thread: present cont.

  1. #1
    aysaa is offline Senior Member
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    Default present cont.

    Hi,

    1- She has been writing an email for 3 hours.

    2- I have been washing five cars for four hours.

    3- I have been washing the two cars you lent me for five hours.

    4-
    He has been washing the five cars at the same time.

    5- I have been speaking to my two old friends since morning.

    I would like to as if the sentences I have contrusted with a present perfect cont. tense is OK or must I use a present perfect tense instead?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by aysaa; 08-Aug-2013 at 17:20.

  2. #2
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: present cont.

    If the action is still in progress, they're OK.

  3. #3
    aysaa is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: present cont.

    So many thanks for the answer. May I ask something? Why were some of us taught in school that if the action is repeated or interrupted (we describe a number of completed individual actions), we must use the present perfect tense. For example:

    -She has written four letters since she got up. (They say it is OK)

    -She has been writting four letters since she got up. (They say it is not OK)

    (I was taught in school it is wrong, and also I have read on many internet sites such as: Present perfect simple and continuous exercises, grammar rules). Why do they say 'use present perfect cont. tense' ?

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: present cont.

    Quote Originally Posted by aysaa View Post
    So many thanks for the answer. May I ask something? Why were some of us taught in school that if the action is repeated or interrupted (we describe a number of completed individual actions), we must use the present perfect tense. For example:

    -She has written four letters since she got up. (They say it is OK) Up to the time of speaking, but not beyond.

    -She has been writing four letters since she got up. (They say it is not OK) Since she got up and continuing at the time of speaking.

    (I was taught in school it is wrong, and also I have read on many internet sites such as: Present perfect simple and continuous exercises, grammar rules). Why do they say 'use present perfect cont. tense' ?

    Thanks.
    b.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 08-Aug-2013 at 19:42. Reason: Typo correction

  5. #5
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    Default Re: present cont.

    Quote Originally Posted by aysaa View Post
    So many thanks for the answer. May I ask something? Why were some of us taught in school that if the action is repeated or interrupted (we describe a number of completed individual actions), we must use the present perfect tense. For example:

    -She has written four letters since she got up. (They say it is OK)
    She is no longer writing any one of those four letters. They are all finished. She might be in the middle of writing letter 5 but the rest have been finished.

    -She has been writting writing four letters since she got up. (They say it is not OK)
    This is only OK if she started writing those four letters when she got up, she hasn't finished any of them and she is still writing all four of them.

    (I was taught in school it is wrong, and also I have read on many internet sites such as: Present perfect simple and continuous exercises, grammar rules). Why do they say 'use present perfect cont. tense' ?

    Thanks.
    You can see my comments above in red.

    Here's another example of your second construction.

    It is 10am. Dave's boss says to Dave "What are you doing?" Dave says "I'm writing those three reports you asked me for". 2 hours later, at noon, Dave's boss says to Dave "What are you doing now?" Dave replies "I'm still writing those three reports". Three hours later at 3pm, Dave's boss asks him "What are you doing?" and Dave replies "I'm still writing those three reports". By now, Dave's boss is a little exasperated and shouts "For goodness' sake, Dave! You have been writing those three reports since 10 o'clock this morning! When will they be finished?!"
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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