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  1. #1
    Nightmare85's Avatar
    Nightmare85 is offline Senior Member
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    Haven't been

    Hello,
    I believe it's normal to say:
    I've been reading this book for 2 weeks.
    (2 weeks ago I started to read it and I'm still reading it - of course with breaks, so let's say 2 hours per day.)

    If it's the opposite, would it make sense to say:
    I haven't been reading this book for 2 weeks.
    (2 weeks ago I decided not to read it anymore, and I haven't changed my decision yet.)

    I don't know, something seems weird but I can't figure it out...

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: Haven't been

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Hello,
    I believe it's normal to say:
    I've been reading this book for 2 weeks.
    (2 weeks ago I started to read it and I'm still reading it - of course with breaks, so let's say 2 hours per day.)
    Yes.


    If it's the opposite, would it make sense to say:
    I haven't been reading this book for 2 weeks.
    (2 weeks ago I decided not to read it anymore, and I haven't changed my decision yet.)
    I haven't read this book for two weeks.

    I don't know, something seems weird but I can't figure it out...
    What is weird is that your sentence is normally used in this context:
    A: You should have finished that book by now. You've been reading it for two weeks.
    B: I haven't been reading it for two weeks. I only started it last weekend. [And I'm still reading it.]

    Cheers!
    There are potential ambiguities if the context doesn't make it clear.
    "I haven't been swimming for two weeks" could mean either:
    1) "It has been two weeks since I went swimming." or
    2) "I have been swimming for less than two weeks."
    Naturally, with "swimming", the meaning is more likely to be 1, because no one would assume that you have been swimming for two weeks.

    But, the following is ambiguous without further context:
    "I haven't been working for two weeks."
    Here is a conversation where the meaning is as in 2.
    A: Here's your pay. You get paid after every two weeks' work.
    B: But I haven't been working for two weeks.

  3. #3
    Dawood Usmani's Avatar
    Dawood Usmani is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Haven't been

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Hello,
    I believe it's normal to say:
    I've been reading this book for 2 weeks.
    (2 weeks ago I started to read it and I'm still reading it - of course with breaks, so let's say 2 hours per day.)

    If it's the opposite, would it make sense to say:
    I haven't been reading this book for 2 weeks.
    (2 weeks ago I decided not to read it anymore, and I haven't changed my decision yet.)

    I don't know, something seems weird but I can't figure it out...

    Cheers!
    I haven't read this book for two weeks. Something has stopped happening. When that happens, we use Present Perfect Simple Not Present Perfect Continuous.
    Hope this helps!

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: Haven't been

    Quote Originally Posted by dawoodusmani View Post
    I haven't read this book for two weeks. Something has stopped happening. When that happens, we use Present Perfect Simple Not Present Perfect Continuous.
    Hope this helps!
    In this context, I entirely agree with you!

    Q - Have you finished/Are you still reading that book I lent you?
    A - Oh, I haven't read it for weeks!

    However, occasionally, the present perfect continuous would be appropriate:

    Q - Are you still dating that really gorgeous guy?
    A - Oh, I haven't been dating him for months!!

    We wouldn't say "I haven't dated him for months".

  5. #5
    chester_100's Avatar
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    Re: Haven't been

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Hello,
    I believe it's normal to say:
    I've been reading this book for 2 weeks.
    (2 weeks ago I started to read it and I'm still reading it - of course with breaks, so let's say 2 hours per day.)

    If it's the opposite, would it make sense to say:
    I haven't been reading this book for 2 weeks.
    (2 weeks ago I decided not to read it anymore, and I haven't changed my decision yet.)

    I don't know, something seems weird but I can't figure it out...

    Cheers!
    Dear Nightmare85 ,
    I think the problem arises from the difference between the structure of your mother tongue and that of English:
    -Ich tue: I do; I'm doing.

    Now look at this:
    -Sie hat gelesen: she has read; she was reading. /Am I right?/

    -How would you turn the following sentence into English?

    -Seit ich hier wohne, fühlen ich mich wohl.

    Good luck,
    Last edited by chester_100; 14-Jun-2010 at 03:26.

  6. #6
    Nightmare85's Avatar
    Nightmare85 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Haven't been

    Quote Originally Posted by chester_100 View Post
    -How would you turn the following sentence into English?

    -Seit ich hier wohne, fühlen ich mich wohl.

    Good luck,
    I don't know, I'm a bad translator.
    Either "Since I've been living here I feel good" or "Since I've been living here I've felt good"
    "I've lived" is also an option, but I prefer the other example.

    Cheers!

  7. #7
    corum is offline Banned
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    Re: Haven't been

    Quote Originally Posted by chester_100 View Post

    -How would you turn the following sentence into English?

    -Seit ich hier wohne, fühlen ich mich wohl.
    Let me have a bash at it!
    Since I have been living here, I have been feeling well.

    BTW, fühle ich mich...

  8. #8
    Nightmare85's Avatar
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    Re: Haven't been

    You would use two times have been?

    Feeling good - Feeling well: I believe both means the same
    (Strangely I've never seen feeling well.)

    Cheers!

  9. #9
    corum is offline Banned
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    Re: Haven't been

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    You would use two times have been?


    Without a second thought, I would! Mercilessly and ruthlessly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Feeling good - Feeling well: I believe both means the same
    (Strangely I've never seen feeling well.)

    Cheers!
    Definition of well adjective from Cambridge Dictionary Online: Free English Dictionary and Thesaurus

  10. #10
    chester_100's Avatar
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    Re: Haven't been

    Yes fellows, you're totally right. Naturally, we're tempted to use the simple present tense, because wohne represents that tense.
    The tense will not work out in the English equivalent of the sentence:

    -Since I live here, I feel good ( psychological state)/ well (physical state).
    1. The sentence is ambiguous: since will be wrongly taken to mean because in the sentence.
    2. We expect to see present perfect after since.

    As a result, German learners need to be more careful when they deal with progressive tenses. The language employs adverbials rather than syntactic structures to cover the concept of progression.

    Good luck every body,

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