Page 1 of 2 1 2 Last
Results 1 to 10 of 13
  1. #1
    Gunner1999 is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    55

    I've been listening to music vs I was listening to music

    Hi. I would like to ask you a question, which is connected with these tenses. Which tense should I use, if I want to inform someone, that my action isn't finished and it happened at some point in the past. Can we use the past continuous without a time reference? Here's an example:

    A: Hi, Josh. What's shaking?
    B: Hi. Everything is fine.
    A: What were you doing with the car? or What have you been doing with the car?
    B: I was remodelling the spoiler or I've been remodelling the spoiler.

    C: What were you doing? Or What have you been doing?
    D: I was listening to music or I've been listening to music.

    Last edited by Gunner1999; 18-Jul-2017 at 18:23.

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    25,679

    Re: I've been listening to music vs I was listening to music

    If the action hasn't finished, and you need to communicate that, you use the present perfect continuous.
    So, your question "Which tense should I use, if I want to inform someone, that my action isn't finished and it happened at some point in the past" is itself wrong. If it "happened at some point in the past", then it isn't still happening. In reality, those two conditions aren't mutually exclusive, but grammatically, they don't go together.


  3. #3
    Gunner1999 is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    55

    Re: I've been listening to music vs I was listening to music

    Sorry, I meant that it had started in the past.

  4. #4
    Gunner1999 is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    55

    Re: I've been listening to music vs I was listening to music

    I'd like to show an example from an English website, which is about the past continuous.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1643.jpg  

  5. #5
    Gunner1999 is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    55

    Re: I've been listening to music vs I was listening to music

    And I also think that the present perfect continuous is better, but I've heard a few examples from movies and video games, where the past continuous was used instead of the present perfect continuous. That's the reason, why I am confused.

  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    25,679

    Re: I've been listening to music vs I was listening to music

    Your image is too small to read, and increasing the size makes a blur. Can you write out the sentence?

  7. #7
    Gunner1999 is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    55

    Re: I've been listening to music vs I was listening to music

    All right. I can. I'm going to cite these sentences.
    The past continuous tense is used:
    • to show that we were in the middle of an action.
    Example: I was collecting old newspapers. (I was in the middle of doing the collecting.)
    Example: The police sirens were wailing.

  8. #8
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    25,679

    Re: I've been listening to music vs I was listening to music

    Those sentences are correct, but they need a context, often in another tense, for them to make sense.

    In any case, they don't follow the pattern of your original question because the action isn't still happening. You were asking about using the past perfect with an event that started in the past and was/is still happening. Also, the tenses will differ between direct speech, as in your original, and reported action, as in your latter examples.

    Could you clarify exactly what is confusing you? Or maybe someone else can see what I'm missing.

  9. #9
    Gunner1999 is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    55

    Re: I've been listening to music vs I was listening to music

    I had thought that I couldn't use the past continuous without a time reference, but a while ago I was talking to my pal from England and I claimed a fact. Let me cite it.
    A: Hi, Arsenal has defeated Chelsea. They have the F.A. Cup.
    B: I was watching it. (That's his answer)

  10. #10
    Gunner1999 is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    55

    Re: I've been listening to music vs I was listening to music

    I think so too, but he said so.
    Here's an example from an American comedy:
    A: Are you all right?!
    B: I was just..., I was reaching for something.
    Why is the past continuous used here?

Page 1 of 2 1 2 Last

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •