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    #1

    tenses

    Are the following sentences all grammatically correct? Thank you a lot.

    1. I read The Old Man and the Sea these days.
    2. I am reading The Old Man and the Sea these days.
    3. I have read The Old Man and the Sea these days.
    4. I have been reading The Old Man and the Sea these days.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: tenses

    What are your thoughts?

    Hint: When you read a book, is it an going process or something done all at once.
    Last edited by Barb_D; 18-Dec-2011 at 04:29.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #3

    Re: tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    What are your thoughts?

    Hint: When you read a book, is it an going process or something done all at once.
    Thank you for your hint. However, as a non-native speaker, I find that verb tenses are sometimes still confusing to me.

    For example, if I read about 30 pages of Moby Dick a day and read the novel every day, I would think it is correct to say " I read Moby Dick these days."

    From your hint, I think it is correct to say "I am reading Moby Dick these days."

    Suppose I have finished reading more than two-thirds of the novel, and I will continue reading it, then I think it is also correct to say "I have been reading Moby Dick these days."

    If I have finished reading the novel at present, it seems also correct to say "I have read Moby Dick these days."

    Please correct me if I am wrong. Thank you very much.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by maoyueh View Post
    For example, if I read about 30 pages of Moby Dick a day and read the novel every day, I would think it is correct to say " I read Moby Dick these days."

    'These days' suggests that the reading is not finished, and it is not a regular on-going activity (i.e., it has limited duration). 'I read' is appropriate only in such utterances as: "I read 'Moby Dick' regularly", which suggests you have read it more than once
    .
    From your hint, I think it is correct to say "I am reading Moby Dick these days." Yes

    Suppose I have finished reading more than two-thirds of the novel, and I will continue reading it, then I think it is also correct to say "I have been reading Moby Dick these days."
    It's just about possible, but unlikely with 'these days'.'Recently' would be fine; so would no adverbial.

    If I have finished reading the novel at present, it seems also correct to say "I have read Moby Dick these days."
    No. Once again 'these days' is inappropriate - 'recently' would be be fine.
    It's not the tense forms that are causing the problem - it's 'these days'. This suggests that the activity did not take place in the past, and may not take place in the future. This suggestion of limited duration is most commonly associated with the present progressive - I am reading.

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    #5

    Re: tenses

    The problem is that you seem determined to include these days in your sentences. It is not the right adverbial phrase to use here.

    'I read (present tense) 20 pages of The Old Man and the Sea every day.'

    'I am reading The Old Man and the Sea at present.'

    'I have read The Old Man and the Sea recently.'

    'I have been reading The Old Man and the Sea for the last few days.'

    'I read (past tense) The Old Man and the Sea last week.'

    Rover

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    #6

    Re: tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    The problem is that you seem determined to include these days in your sentences. It is not the right adverbial phrase to use here.
    I agree. That is a point I overlooked. 'These days' is possible in maoyueh's sentence, but it is not very natural. It does rather suggest that reading the book is all that you are doing.

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