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    #1

    Question use of past participle vs gerund

    What is the (functional) difference between, for example:
    I have taught archery for ten years 'vs' I have been teaching archery for ten years? The context is in explaining one's experience with archery. When might the use of one of these be preferable to the other? Are there other similar verb forms to consider?

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    #2

    Re: use of past participle vs gerund

    *Not a native speaker of English nor a teacher

    It depends on whether you are still teaching archery or not. If so, I have been teaching archery for ten years; if not, I have taught archery for ten years.

    Another possibility, you could have taught archery years ago for ten years. So you would say I taught archery for ten years.

    I may be wrong though

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    #3

    Re: use of past participle vs gerund

    Quote Originally Posted by Chazghir9 View Post
    What is the (functional) difference between, for example:
    I have taught archery for ten years 'vs' I have been teaching archery for ten years? The context is in explaining one's experience with archery. When might the use of one of these be preferable to the other? Are there other similar verb forms to consider?
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Hello, Chazghir.

    (1) I have taught. = present perfect.


    (2) I have been teaching. = present perfect progressive. ("teaching"

    is not usually called a "gerund" in that kind of sentence.)

    (3) I have checked my books, and I am happy to share what I learned:

    (a) Sometimes there IS a difference:

    (i) I have read that book. = Maybe you have finished it.

    (ii) I have been reading that book. = You are still reading it.

    (b) In your case, I believe that the sentences mean ALMOST the

    same.

    (i) In one grammar book, the author gives these two sentences:

    (a) Harry has worked / has been working in the same job for 30 years.

    (ii) The author says they mean the same,

    BUT there may be a little difference of EMPHASIS.

    The author did not explain, but another author says that the -ing

    sentence puts more emphasis (more importance) on

    how long something has been happening).

    (4) In my opinion ONLY, here is how the -ing sentence might be used:

    TOM: I am looking for a good archery teacher.

    MR. SMITH: Well, people tell me that I am a good archery teacher. Would

    you like to sign up for my classes?

    TOM: Excuse me, sir. But I am looking for a teacher with a lot of

    experience.

    MR. SMITH: Listen, young man. I have been teaching archery for

    10 LONG years!!! I think that I have enough experience.

    (If Mr. Smith had said, "I have taught archery for 10 years," I

    do not think it would emphasize the length of time so strongly. That is

    ONLY my opinion.)

    ***** Thank you for your question *****
    Last edited by TheParser; 02-Jul-2010 at 23:13.


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    #4

    Re: use of past participle vs gerund

    Both sentences are correct and mean the same. As TheParser pointed out, an -ing ending doesn't always mean "gerund;" in this case, you are choosing between the present perfect ("have done") and present perfect progressive ("have been doing.") Without a time marker, the present perfect typically indicates that an action is complete; "I have taught archery" would likely be interpreted as "I taught archery in the past but do not teach it any longer." However, when you add "for ten years," it becomes understood that the action is still in progress. With the present perfect progressive, the fact that the action continues is apparent even without the time marker.

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