I gotta a question: (is it ok gotta)?
I'd like to know which is the correct form is these present perfect continuous and past perfect continuous examples:
> I have been writing my essay for over an hour when I decided to start over with a new topic.
> I had been writing my essay for over an hour when I decided to start over with a new topic.
Please tell me why I should use either present perfec continuous or past perfect continuous.
Thanks a lot
1. Past perfect continuous is correct (your second example) because you are describing a past action that was completed before another past action. In your first example, using present perfect continuous states the action up to the present and then you revert to simple past which is not correct or, for that matter, not logical.
2. Although you will hear "gotta", "gonna", "wanna", "shoulda", "woulda", "coulda" in everyday conversation and they are generally accepted in that manner, they are not in my vocabulary when writing even in the most informal correspondence. My recommendation is to avoid at all cost.