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    • Join Date: Jan 2007
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    #1

    am having/have been having

    I am having headaches for 3 years.
    I am suffering from malaria for 3 months.

    These present continuous tenses sound very natural to me. But I wonder whether they both are grammatically and semantically perfect because we generally use the phrase like "for 3 years" with the present perfect continuous e.g. "I have been having headaches for 3 years", "I have been suffering from malaria for 3 months".

    Please help me with this.
    Last edited by user_gary; 03-Aug-2007 at 06:32.

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    #2

    Re: am having/have been having

    I donít think present continuous tenses sound natural here. The present perfect continuous do. You may however choose to use the present perfect: Iíve had headaches for 3 years. Iíve suffered from malaria for 3 months.


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    #3

    Re: am having/have been having

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that the present perfect in these sentences suggests that the headaches and malaria are gone. You've had them for three years but you don't suffer any more. If you use the present perfect continuous, however, it means that both the headaches and malaria have been and still are bothering you.

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    #4

    Re: am having/have been having

    Quote Originally Posted by angielina View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that the present perfect in these sentences suggests that the headaches and malaria are gone. You've had them for three years but you don't suffer any more. If you use the present perfect continuous, however, it means that both the headaches and malaria have been and still are bothering you.
    You are right but the sentences should sound:
    1.I have been having headaches for the last 3 years/since long/ since the beginning of this year/ since January, etc.. It means you are still having headaches.[action still going on]
    2. I have been suffering from malaria for the last 3 months/since long/ since the beginning of this year/ since January, etc..- It means you are still suffering from malaria.[action still going on]
    3. I have had headaches for 3 months[ recently finished action]
    4. I have suffered from malaria for 3 months. [recently finished action]


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    #5

    Re: am having/have been having

    Thank you friends (buddhaheart, teia_petrescu)
    Thank you Angielena. I was about to ask the same question. But you did it.

    Now, Can I say?

    I had suffered from Malaria for 3 years when I was 8 years old.
    I had had headaches for 3 years when I was 8 years old.

    I suffered from Malaria for 3 years when I was 8 years old.
    I had headaches for 3 years when I was 8 years old.

    Are all these sentences correct as to grammatically and semantically?

    Please help me.


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    #6

    Re: am having/have been having

    Quote Originally Posted by user_gary View Post
    Thank you friends (buddhaheart, teia_petrescu)
    Thank you Angielena. I was about to ask the same question. But you did it.

    Now, Can I say?

    I had suffered from Malaria for 3 years when I was 8 years old.
    I had had headaches for 3 years when I was 8 years old.

    I suffered from Malaria for 3 years when I was 8 years old.
    I had headaches for 3 years when I was 8 years old.

    Are all these sentences correct as to grammatically and semantically?

    Please help me.
    In the first two examples, it looks like the intent is to state that by the time you were eight, you had suffered from either malaria or headaches for a three-year period, so I would change "when" to "by the time" to reflect this.

    The last two examples don't make much sense to me. They seem to imply that during the time you were eight, you suffered from either malaria or headaches for three years. But a person can only be eight for the duration of a single year, so this would seem to be impossible. I much prefer the first two sentences, with the recommended changes, to express the idea that you had suffered from malaria/headaches for three of your past eight years of life.

    [Not a teacher]

  1. RonBee's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: am having/have been having

    Quote Originally Posted by user_gary View Post
    Now, Can I say?

    I had suffered from Malaria for 3 years when I was 8 years old.
    I had had headaches for 3 years when I was 8 years old.

    Those sentences only make sense if you were five years old when you contracted malaria and started having headaches. If in fact you were eight years old when that happened, say:
    I suffered from malaria for three years starting when I was eight.

    I had headaches for three years starting when I was eight.

    If in fact you were five years old when you contracted malaria and started having headaches, express it thusly:
    I had suffered from malaria for three years by the time I was eight.

    I had been having headaches for three years by the time I was eight.

    ~R


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    #8

    Re: am having/have been having

    Thank you friends.
    Can I use, the past perfect (had had) in the second sentence to mean the headaches disappeared by the time when I was eight. But it was started when I had been five years old.
    The past perfect progressive (had been having) sounds as if I had been having headaches when I said the sentence. The headache didn't disappear when I was eight though It was started when I had been five years old.

    Please help me with this.

  2. RonBee's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: am having/have been having

    Quote Originally Posted by Niall Beag View Post
    "suffering" is a bit different, in that it's not the existence of the disease that we are discussing, but you're reaction to it.
    Homophone problem.


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    #10

    Re: am having/have been having

    I got it.
    Thank you Ronbee, teia petrescu, JLP and Niall beag.

    Just one more help:

    Can I say,
    I have been having cold since my childhood. [to mean, the cold is a recurring problem]
    Last edited by user_gary; 05-Aug-2007 at 05:52.

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