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Thread: perfective

  1. #1
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Default perfective

    Consider the following conversation:

    -You haven't really tried to go in. What have you done to go in?

    1-I have knocked on this door and I still am.
    2-I have knocked on this door for ten minutes and still am.
    3-I have knocked on this door for ten minutes and still am knocking on it.
    4-I have been knocking on this door and still am.

    Which of the replies (from 1 to 4) is acceptable?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    2

  3. #3
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Thanks Tdol,
    I have to admit that I am a bit confused. Let us say I don't remember for how long I have been knocking. What do I say?
    I could get out of it by saying something like:
    "I have knocked on this door for some time and still am."
    I suppose I could also go for:
    I have knocked on this door. And, by the way, I still am knocking on it.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    2
    Cool. 8)

    In North American English, 2- would be "I've been knocking", and 4- is OK.

    2-I have knocked on this door for ten minutes and still am.
    4-I have been knocking on this door and still am.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    You could use the simple or the progressive. You might shout out 'I have been, am and will be knocking on this door until you open it'.

  6. #6
    hearingwintergone Guest

    Default

    I just know 4 is correct, but how about 2?

  7. #7
    hearingwintergone Guest

    Default

    and why the second "I" cannot be used ?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hearingwintergone
    and why the second "I" cannot be used ?
    have knocked refers to a specific time frame: starting at a time in the past and going all the way up to right now, ending this very minute. The knocking is over and done with.

    have been knocking adds a progressive sense to the action. The knocking is still going on right now, at this minute, or has briefly stopped and will resume shortly.

    :D

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