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    #1

    were looking, have been looking

    Where have you been? We were looking/ have been looking for you everywhere.
    Where have you been? My brother was looking/ has been looking for you everywhere.

    Are the two tenses correct in this sentence? Chinese learners find it difficult to tell these tenses apart, and so do the teachers.

    Thank you very much in advance.

  1. Dawood Usmani's Avatar
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    #2

    Question Re: were looking, have been looking

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    Where have you been? We have been looking for you everywhere.
    Where have you been? My brother has been looking for you everywhere.

    Are the two tenses correct in this sentence? Chinese learners find it difficult to tell these tenses apart, and so do the teachers.

    Thank you very much in advance.
    Past tense only talks about the past. It has nothing to do with present. But here, in your sentence, we need to use present perfect continuous.
    1- Past continuous = something was happening at a particular time in the past e.g. I was having a bath when the doorbell rang. ( At a particular time in the past; the action of having a bath is finished. No result in the present)
    2- Present Perfect Continuous = something has just stopped happening. ( The result is still present.) For example, "Why are your hands dirty? What have you been doing? ~ I've been repairing my car. Your eyes are red. Have you been sleeping ? ~ Yes, I've been sleeping. ( In both sentences, the action has just stopped happening.)
    Hope this has helped a bit.
    Regards
    Dawood
    Last edited by Dawood Usmani; 15-Dec-2007 at 11:11.

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