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  1. Newbie
    Retired English Teacher
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      • Belgium
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      • Belgium

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    #1

    Usage of present perfect vs present perfect continuous

    They have had difficulties in their relationships lately, so they have been to a marriage counsellor.
    They will be 30 next month.
    I will phone as soon as I arrive at the station.
    These above sentences were the ones I had written on the site : ENGLISH PAGE - Verb Tense Tutorial and English Tests: Test your English.

    They said it was incorrect and the correct forms were :

    They have been having difficulties in their relationships lately, so they have been going to a marriage counsellor.
    They are going to be 30 next month.
    I am going to phone as I arrive at the station.

    I thought all forms could be correct with a little difference of emphasis.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
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    #2

    Re: Usage of present perfect vs present perfect continuous

    The continuous form is, in my opinion, more likely in the first sentence. the be going to form is more likely in the second, and slightly less likely in the third.

    This is the kind of test question I detest. There are no absolute 'right' answers. The words a native speaker might actually use depend on the full context, known only to the speaker himself/herself.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Usage of present perfect vs present perfect continuous

    Quote Originally Posted by Nadia Bello View Post
    They have had difficulties in their relationships lately, so they have been to a marriage counsellor.
    They will be 30 next month.
    I will phone as soon as I arrive at the station.
    These above sentences were the ones I had written on the site : ENGLISH PAGE - Verb Tense Tutorial and English Tests: Test your English.

    They said it was incorrect and the correct forms were :

    They have been having difficulties in their relationships lately, so they have been going to a marriage counsellor.
    They are going to be 30 next month.
    I am going to phone as I arrive at the station.

    I thought all forms could be correct with a little difference of emphasis.
    I have no problem with your second or third sentence. In your first, I think the continuous form in the second clause (as in the correction) would be clearer. Your use of the word "lately" in the first clause of the first sentence reduces the need for the continuous in that clause. I actually prefer your third sentence to the "correct" one because of your use of "as soon as".

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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      • England
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      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #4

    Re: Usage of present perfect vs present perfect continuous

    "I am going to phone as I arrive at the station."
    I find this "correct" answer extremely unnatural. The OP's alternative is far better IMO.

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