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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 4
    #1

    What is the difference?

    What is the difference between those sentences?
    1) I have been working.
    and
    2) I am already working.
    Are they both Present perfect continuous tense. thank you.


    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 394
    #2

    Re: What is the difference?

    What is the difference between those sentences?
    1) I have been working.
    and
    2) I am already working.
    Are they both Present perfect continuous tense. thank you.
    No, the first is present perfect continuous; the second is present continuous.

    In 1), the emphasis is on the fact that the speaker started working at a time in the past, and is still working now. We understand that the work continues through the moment of speaking, although we do not know for how much longer. For example:

    I started working at 8:00 this morning, and it's now 11:00. I have been working for three hours, but I think I'm going to quit around 11:30 and go to lunch.

    Note that this is not the only type of situation suitable for the present perfect continuous, but this is one common type of situation where it is used. It may also be the following type of situation:

    It seems like I'm always tired these days. I just don't seem to have any energy. I think I have been working too hard lately.

    In other words, maybe the speaker has worked a lot of overtime recently. Working too much or too hard has been a regular activity for the speaker in the recent past, and the results are evident.

    In 2), the emphasis is simply on the fact that the speaker is working at the moment of speaking.

    However, also present in 2) is the word already. That creates the sense that the fact that the speaker has started working is somewhat surprising, or perhaps in contrast to someone else who has not yet started working. For example:

    A: Where have you been? It's 8:05 and I am already working.
    B: Gosh, give me a break. I need a cup of coffee before I can get started.


    Hope this is clear.

    Greg
    Last edited by dragn; 06-Aug-2009 at 04:38.

  2. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 4
    #3

    Re: What is the difference?

    That does clear it up. Thank you very much.

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