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  1. #11
    ckcgordon is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Present Perfect Continuous Tense

    Thank you, 2006, teia_petrescu, Philly, JCrawf & fiona bramble. Thanks for your examples and explanation.

    I really have difficulty in understanding the usage of Present Perfect Continuous (PPC) tense. The explanations and examples given in grammar reference books cannot solve all the problems in my mind. That's why I posted my question here in order to seek help and guidance from you. Now I have a deeper understanding about the functions of PPC tense

    The difference between Present Perfect and Present Perfect Continuous puzzles me most. Take the "coffee" sentence as an example, I didn't know it's not okay to use present perfect continuous before you told me. I hope my understanding is correct now:

    (1) I've worked hard this term.
    Present Perfect is used here. "This term" hasn't finished yet. This sentence emphasizes the meaning of "completion" -- I've done something, I've finished something -- in this case, that something is "worked hard".

    (2) I've been working hard this term.
    Present Perfect Continuous is used here. "This term" hasn't finished yet. This sentence emphasizes the meaning of "continuation" -- I've worked hard already and I may continue to work hard.

    (3) I worked hard this term.
    Past simple is used here. The meaning is the same as (1). But in this sentence the speaker does not relate "worked hard" to the present moment. Maybe the term is nearly completed or has just completed.

    Are my analyses correct?

    Thank you once again for your guidance. Your responses have made my inquiry a very pleasant experience indeed!!

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Present Perfect Continuous Tense

    Hi again,
    this is from an old thread of mine:
    The present perfect continuous is used for:
    1. to emphasize the duration of an event (often includes "since", "ever since", "for").
    Your sentence emphasizes the "hour" (duration) but it may or may not continue to wait; we don't know or don't care, which is why we use this structure. It is the "hour" that has completed and that is what we are talking about, nothing else.
    2. to connect a continuous activity in the recent past to the present:
    e.g. Her eyes are red. She has been crying.
    In this case, she probably has just finished crying but we can see "evidence" of her actions.


  3. #13
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Present Perfect Continuous Tense

    hi Philly
    What I disagreed with was your comment that the past tense sentence suggests that ''there is no possibility you will drink a fifth cup''. In my opinion, "I drank four cups of coffee this morning.' doesn't tell us whether the morning or the coffee drinking is over. I think that both sentences leave the possibility of drinking more coffee "this morning" open.

  4. #14
    Waawe is offline Member
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    Default Re: Present Perfect Continuous Tense

    Quote Originally Posted by fiona bramble View Post
    Hi again,
    this is from an old thread of mine:
    The present perfect continuous is used for:
    1. to emphasize the duration of an event (often includes "since", "ever since", "for").
    Your sentence emphasizes the "hour" (duration) but it may or may not continue to wait; we don't know or don't care, which is why we use this structure. It is the "hour" that has completed and that is what we are talking about, nothing else.
    2. to connect a continuous activity in the recent past to the present:
    e.g. Her eyes are red. She has been crying.
    In this case, she probably has just finished crying but we can see "evidence" of her actions.

    And how about: 'Her eyes are red. She was crying.' - Is that kosher?

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Present Perfect Continuous Tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Waawe View Post
    And how about: 'Her eyes are red. She was crying.' - Is that kosher?
    It is o.k. but, in context, it is likely a time reference would used: She was crying all night. I would probably not use the past continuous without this because the two time frames are not connected in any way.

  6. #16
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Present Perfect Continuous Tense

    This week/month/year/today are incomplete periods of time which go with present perfect.This morning is a bit more confusing. If you say it in the morning the unit of time is not over: present perfect. But you can say this morning in the afternoon when it is over: past simple. The word this usually refers to an incomplete unit of time within which sth takes place.

  7. #17
    ckcgordon is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Present Perfect Continuous Tense

    Thank you for your explanation, Dr. Ibrahim. Do you think it is natural to use present perfect continuous tense with time expressions with "this"? Let's imagine it's now 4:30pm and it's raining. The rain started at 12:30pm. Is it grammatical to say It has been raining heavily this afternoon. I just couldn't find examples like this in the grammar books I read.

  8. #18
    Teia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Present Perfect Continuous Tense

    Quote Originally Posted by ckcgordon View Post
    Thank you for your explanation, Dr. Ibrahim. Do you think it is natural to use present perfect continuous tense with time expressions with "this"? Let's imagine it's now 4:30pm and it's raining. The rain started at 12:30pm. Is it grammatical to say It has been raining heavily this afternoon. I just couldn't find examples like this in the grammar books I read.
    Your sentence is correct. Present perfect continuous tense is used with actions which began in the past and are still continuing.
    It has been raining heavily this afternoon [and the rain hasn`t stopped yet],or
    some other examples:

    I`ve been waiting here all morning and the bus hasn`t arrived yet.
    They have been going out together for six months now.
    We`ve been using this road since the war.

  9. #19
    ckcgordon is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Present Perfect Continuous Tense

    Thank you, teia_petrescu. Thanks for your explanation and examples once again. I guess I'm sort of obsessed with the usage of present perfect continuous tense. As I said before, the examples that I've found in grammar books contain "all", "for" or "since" when a time phrase is mentioned (just like the two examples given by you: I've been waiting here all morning and the bus hasn`t arrived yet. They have been going out together for six months now. We've been using this road since the war.).

    I'm really curious if I can use a time phrase without using "all", "for" or "since" when I use this tense. Will you accept the following sentences:

    Mary has been working very hard this week.
    Peter has been updating the computer system this month.
    Nancy has been learning fencing this summer.


    (NOTE: Assuming "this week", "this month" and "this summer" have not finished when the speakers utter the sentences.)

  10. #20
    Teia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Present Perfect Continuous Tense

    Quote Originally Posted by ckcgordon View Post
    Thank you, teia_petrescu. Thanks for your explanation and examples once again. I guess I'm sort of obsessed with the usage of present perfect continuous tense. As I said before, the examples that I've found in grammar books contain "all", "for" or "since" when a time phrase is mentioned (just like the two examples given by you: I've been waiting here all morning and the bus hasn`t arrived yet. They have been going out together for six months now. We've been using this road since the war.).

    I'm really curious if I can use a time phrase without using "all", "for" or "since" when I use this tense. Will you accept the following sentences:

    Mary has been working very hard this week.
    Peter has been updating the computer system this month.
    Nancy has been learning fencing this summer.


    (NOTE: Assuming "this week", "this month" and "this summer" have not finished when the speakers utter the sentences.)
    Hi
    You are welcome. All your sentences are correct. You can use the time expressions "this week/month /summer" as long as the action has not finished yet[ at the time of speaking].

    Regards

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