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    • Join Date: Mar 2006
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    present perfect

    What is the difference between the present perfect and the present perfect continuous? I think the difference is little. But in which way can I be sure to use the right form?
    thanks in advance.

  1. hector51's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2005
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    Re: present perfect

    there is a small tip to remember when using these two tenses:the perfect progressive is used to answer the question "how long"
    eg:I have been studying English for two years(answer the question :"how long have you been studying English")
    while the present perfect answer the question "how often"
    eg:I have been there twice (how often do you go there)

    I think,for most cases,we can apply this rule(but I don't think it cover all the usage of these two tenses)

    Just my 2 cents!!!

  2. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
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    Re: present perfect

    The present perfect is used to connect a past action with the present, while the present perfect progressive describes an action which began in the past and continues into the present.

    "I have made a cake" -- past action, now complete, indicating that there is now (in the present) a cake.

    "He has had two heart attacks" -- past actions, now complete, indicating that now he has to watch his cholesterol.

    "I have been making a cake" -- an action that began in the past and is still current: I am still in the process of making a cake.

    "He has been having many heart attacks lately" -- a series of actions; although he may not be having a heart attack at this exact moment, the speaker expects that he may have another one soon, i.e. the series is not yet over.

    Notice the cake sentences: the present perfect means the cake is made; the present perfect progressive means the cake is still not made.

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