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    #1

    have been using the computer

    Situation:

    In a public area of computers, I am using a computer. I leave and make some copies temporarily. When I return, some people are approaching the computer, thinking that it is idle; so what tense would be used to tell them?:

    -I was/am/have been using the computer.

    I think they are all logical, but I am not sure whether there's one particularly natural and idiomatic.

    Thank you. J.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: have been using the computer

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeC View Post
    Situation:

    In a public area of computers, I am using a computer. I leave and make some copies temporarily. When I return, some people are approaching the computer, thinking that it is idle; so what tense would be used to tell them?:

    -I was/am/have been using the computer.

    I think they are all logical, but I am not sure whether there's one particularly natural and idiomatic.

    Thank you. J.
    In that context, they all work for me.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: have been using the computer

    In a lot of places these days, those people would be met with an angry shout of "Oy! I'm on that one!" It's not polite but it gets the message across.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: have been using the computer

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    In a lot of places these days, those people would be met with an angry shout of "Oy! I'm on that one!" It's not polite but it gets the message across.
    I am pretty sure you will not hear "Oy" in America.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: have been using the computer

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I am pretty sure you will not hear "Oy" in America.
    In AmE, I guess that would be "Hey!"
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: have been using the computer

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    In AmE, I guess that would be "Hey!"
    Indeed!

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    #7

    Re: have been using the computer

    As they haven't reached the computer, I would using I am using, but was using is also OK. As it's about who has the right to the computer, have been using doesn't work as well for me.

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