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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Have built vs. have been building

    I have a question with respect to a proper use of present perfect and present perfect progressive. I've found some mixed up explanations so please correct me if I am wrong.

    I consider two sentences:
    A: They have built many skyscrapers in New York.
    B: They have been building many skyscrapers in New York.

    My understanding is that
    1/ The sentence A means that they have already finished many skyscrapers and we can assume that others are being built now. B could ephasize that there are many scyskrapers that are being built right now, simultaneously.
    2/ The meaning is the same but the sentence A could mean that there is no emphasis on how long it took to build each of the skyscrapers while in B it is - it took a lot of time to build each one.

    Which of the points are correct?
    Thanks a lot.

  2. Mehrgan's Avatar
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    • Join Date: Apr 2009
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    #2

    Re: Have built vs. have been building

    Quote Originally Posted by alagri View Post
    I have a question with respect to a proper use of present perfect and present perfect progressive. I've found some mixed up explanations so please correct me if I am wrong.

    I consider two sentences:
    A: They have built many skyscrapers in New York.
    B: They have been building many skyscrapers in New York.

    My understanding is that
    1/ The sentence A means that they have already finished many skyscrapers and we can assume that others are being built now. B could ephasize that there are many scyskrapers that are being built right now, simultaneously.
    2/ The meaning is the same but the sentence A could mean that there is no emphasis on how long it took to build each of the skyscrapers while in B it is - it took a lot of time to build each one.

    Which of the points are correct?
    Thanks a lot.

    Hi,
    You're right. In the first sentence, lots of buildings have been built at different times, and completed by now. In the second sentence, however, the action of building was started some time ago, and still not completed. The second structure emphasises both duration, and incompleteness. Hope it helps.


    not a teacher

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