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  1. #1
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    How long has he played computer games? - Since he got the computer.

    How long has he been playing the computer games? - For two hours.
    How long has he played computer games? - Since he got the computer.

    Does the present perfect work this way (as shown in the underlined example)?
    Last edited by GeneD; 29-Sep-2017 at 12:38. Reason: typo
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

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    Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    Re: How long has he played computer games? - Since he got the computer.

    How long has he been playing games since he got the computer?
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    Re: How long has he played computer games? - Since he got the computer.

    Is the present perfect continuous necessarily used for repeated actions?
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

  4. #4
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    Re: How long has he played computer games? - Since he got the computer.

    I would use the continuous tense if the action is ongoing.
    Last edited by Matthew Wai; 29-Sep-2017 at 08:20.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. #5
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    Re: How long has he played computer games? - Since he got the computer.

    I'll try to explain my questions. What's puzzling me is those relations between the simple and continuous tenses in general.
    On one hand, the present simple reflects the idea of repeated actions, and so (partly) does the past simple, while the present and past continuous imply the action in progress but not repeated, as I see it. On the other, the past simple (partly) reflects the idea of finished action and the past continuous of unfinished. And when it comes to the perfect variations of the simple and continuous tenses, I normally find myself in a complete mess. Do the present perfect and perfect continuous reflect only the idea of the finished and unfinished action? Or do they also reflect the idea of repeatedness of an action?
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

  6. #6
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    Re: How long has he played computer games? - Since he got the computer.

    The present perfect simple and continuous seems (to me) have more similarities with the present simple and continuous when it comes to "how long" questions. That's why I've asked the initial question.
    Last edited by GeneD; 29-Sep-2017 at 08:49. Reason: error
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

  7. #7
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    Re: How long has he played computer games? - Since he got the computer.

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneD View Post
    Do the present perfect and perfect continuous reflect only the idea of the finished and unfinished action? Or do they also reflect the idea of repeatedness of an action?
    1. I have learned English for a long time.
    2. I have been learning English for a long time.

    I think the action is repeated in both cases.
    I am not a teacher.

  8. #8
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    Re: How long has he played computer games? - Since he got the computer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    1. I have learned English for a long time.
    2. I have been learning English for a long time.

    I think the action is repeated in both cases.
    I'm learning English. The present continuous action is temporary, as far as I know. Therefore, it doesn't seem repeated, to me. But maybe there's some ambiguity about the word "repeated", I don't know. I think I'm learning English is similar to I'm reading a book (which I take repeatedly and read but haven't finished yet; hence the emphasis is on progress, and not on regularity, it seems). I wonder if your second example has the same kind of regularity as in my examples above in the present continuous.

    Your first example is exactly what I'm asking about! Is it possible to say this way? And if possible, is it natural and common? Or is the continuous form better?
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

  9. #9
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    Re: How long has he played computer games? - Since he got the computer.

    This learner cannot discern a difference in meaning between 1 and 2.
    Last edited by Matthew Wai; 29-Sep-2017 at 09:45.
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  10. #10
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    Re: How long has he played computer games? - Since he got the computer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    This learner cannot discern a difference in meaning between 1 and 2.
    I'm afraid I can't. Is the process in your first example finished (and not ongoing)?
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

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