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    #1

    Present perfect continuous - negation + EVEN, YET

    The other day, me and some teacher had a bit of a fight over the following sentence:

    ?I haven't been working with him for a week and I already hate him.


    The meaning she says it conveys is "it has only been a week, which I consider a rather short time to start hating someone", which I just don't agree with. To my ears, the following sentences sounds much better:


    I haven't even been working with him for a week and I already hate him.

    I haven't been working with him for a week yet and I already hate him.

    (syntactically speaking, there is something strange about the even/yet items, definitely worth looking deeper into it)



    Am I right assuming the "extra" items do make a hell of a difference?

    Thanks a lot!
    Last edited by Gilbert; 02-Oct-2010 at 18:36.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Present perfect continuous - negation + EVEN, YET

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilbert View Post
    The other day, me and some teacher had a bit of a fight over the following sentence:

    ?I haven't been working with him for a week and I already hate him.


    The meaning she says it conveys is "it has only been a week, which I consider a rather short time to start hating someone", which I just don't agree with. To my ears, the following sentences sounds much better:


    I haven't even been working with him for a week and I already hate him.

    I haven't been working with him for a week yet and I already hate him.

    (syntactically speaking, there is something strange about the even/yet items, definitely worth looking deeper into it)



    Am I right assuming the "extra" items do make a hell of a difference?

    Thanks a lot!
    All three sentences convey the same meaning to me. The "even" and yet" might add emphasis, but IMO they are not necessary.

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    #3

    Re: Present perfect continuous - negation + EVEN, YET

    Your teacher is nearly right, except: 'I haven't been working with him for a week' says that a week has not yet passed. Less than a week has passed.

    'even' and 'yet' belong to a category called 'negative polarity items'. They are strange.
    Compare the sentences:
    I haven't even been working with him for a week and I already hate him.
    *I have even been working with him for a week yet and I already hate him.
    I haven't been working with him for a week yet and I already hate him.
    *I have been working with him for a week yet and I already hate him.

    They are ok in negative sentences, but in positive sentences, they can't/shouldn't be used.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Present perfect continuous - negation + EVEN, YET

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilbert View Post
    The other day, a teacher and I had a bit of a fight over the following sentence:
    R.

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    #5

    Re: Present perfect continuous - negation + EVEN, YET

    Thanks.
    A couple of notes:

    - I know what NIP's are However, there seems to be quite a few people posting to UsingEnglish who are native speakers of English but did not receive any linguistic training. As a matter of fact, it's this kind of people and their spontaneous reactions that is most important to me (regarding this particular issue, of course).

    - I did mean to say "some teacher". I'm perfectly aware of the implications of some used in place of the indefinite article; besides, she's not my teacher and I'm not one of her students either. (Disclaimer: I hope this sounds more clarifying than rude, I can't really tell, English not being my native language.)

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Present perfect continuous - negation + EVEN, YET

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilbert View Post
    Thanks.
    A couple of notes:

    - I know what NIP's are However, there seems to be quite a few people posting to UsingEnglish who are native speakers of English but did not receive any linguistic training. As a matter of fact, it's this kind of people and their spontaneous reactions that is most important to me (regarding this particular issue, of course).

    - I did mean to say "some teacher". I'm perfectly aware of the implications of some used in place of the indefinite article; besides, she's not my teacher and I'm not one of her students either. (Disclaimer: I hope this sounds more clarifying than rude, I can't really tell, English not being my native language.)
    "Some teacher and I ..." then. "Some teacher" does sound disrespectful in this context, but perhaps you meant it this way. "A teacher" only implies that the person is a teacher; not that s/he is your teacher - so there's no reason on that account not to use 'a'.
    The important point is that "Me and some teacher" as a subject is substandard English.

    What are NIPs?

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    #7

    Re: Present perfect continuous - negation + EVEN, YET

    NPI's...
    And yes, I did mean the first sentence to sound disrespectful, although the "she's not my teacher" remark was only intended to make things clear.

    Anyway, MORE REACTIONS as to whether I haven't been working with for a week and I already hate him. sounds just OK or not ARE WELCOME.

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    #8

    Re: Present perfect continuous - negation + EVEN, YET

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilbert View Post
    NPI's...
    And yes, I did mean the first sentence to sound disrespectful, although the "she's not my teacher" remark was only intended to make things clear.

    Anyway, MORE REACTIONS as to whether I haven't been working with for a week and I already hate him. sounds just OK or not ARE WELCOME.
    There's not much more to be said.
    "I haven't been working with him for a week and I already hate him" doesn't mean "I've only been working with him for a week". The first implies less than a week; the second implies at least "about a week". But the original sentence is OK if in fact, it has been less than a week. I'm still not sure what a NIP or an NPI is though.
    Last edited by Raymott; 04-Oct-2010 at 08:12.

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    #9

    Re: Present perfect continuous - negation + EVEN, YET

    I haven't been working with him for a week and I already hate him.

    Is it possible to say it this way below

    Even though I haven't worked with him for a week I hate him.

    or

    I hate him before I've worked with him for a week.

    Thanks

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