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    #1

    was taking or have been taking ?

    Hello everybody,

    Many greetings and best wishes to all the teachers and learners here in the New Year . Respected teachers keep up your precious work in the folllowing year and many years to come. Many thanks again for the help,time and effort you make to keep this site going.
    This time I have a question regarding the answer on a possible situation illustrated by the following dialogue:

    - " Where have you been? I've been calling you."

    I think that the correct possible answer would be:

    - " Sorry, I didn't hear you,I was taking a shower."

    I think that the answer should reflect a definite time,because "i didnt hear you" implies " when you called ",so I've chosen the past continious tense.

    If I answered like:

    - "Sorry, I didn't hear you,I've been taking a shower."

    I would feel like I was mixing up the two verb tenses (the simple past tense and the present perfect continious tense) and that it is not grammatically correct. Am I right?

    But,if I replaced the clause " I didn't hear you" with " I haven't heard anything" so as to remove the implication of a definite time it would sound more acceptable to my ear :

    - " Sorry , I haven't heard anything , I've been taking a shower."

    Is the sentence above grammatically correct and a possible answer?

    Thanks and best regards


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #2

    Re: was taking or have been taking ?

    - " Where have you been? I've been calling you."
    I think that the correct possible answer would be:
    - " Sorry, I didn't hear you,I was taking a shower."
    I think that the answer should reflect a definite time,because "i didnt hear you" implies " when you called ",so I've chosen the past continious tense.


    "I've been calling you" indicates that he did not call out (or ring on the phone) just once, but suggests he spent a period of time trying to find/contact him; and has been continuing to do so right up to this moment.
    The response, 'I've been taking a shower' matches with it: over the same period of time that you have been calling, I have been showering.
    If the first man had said, "I rang you just after 9 (meaning 9 a.m.). Where were you?" then the reply
    I didn't hear it, I was taking a shower (at about that time)
    would be appropriate.

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    #3

    Re: was taking or have been taking ?

    Thank you for the answer David.I would like to ask one addtional question if you would be so kind to answer.
    I'm a bit confused with shifting from the Simple Present Perfect Tense to the Simple Past Tense sometimes. For example, a boy is coming down from upstairs and his mother is telling him:

    " Where have you been? I've called you. Your lunch's got cold now."

    " Sorry mother , I didn't hear you calling me"

    Is it grammatically correct dialogue? Or he will answer :

    " Sorry mother , I havent heard you calling me"

    Also,is it possible to shift to the Simple Past Tense after "Where have you been" :

    "Where have you been? I called you."

    Thanks again

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    #4

    Re: was taking or have been taking ?

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    - " Where have you been? I've been calling you."
    I think that the correct possible answer would be:
    - " Sorry, I didn't hear you,I was taking a shower."
    I think that the answer should reflect a definite time,because "i didnt hear you" implies " when you called ",so I've chosen the past continious tense.


    "I've been calling you" indicates that he did not call out (or ring on the phone) just once, but suggests he spent a period of time trying to find/contact him; and has been continuing to do so right up to this moment.
    The response, 'I've been taking a shower' matches with it: over the same period of time that you have been calling, I have been showering.
    If the first man had said, "I rang you just after 9 (meaning 9 a.m.). Where were you?" then the reply
    I didn't hear it, I was taking a shower (at about that time)
    would be appropriate.
    In American English, I think we would be more likely to answer "I couldn't hear you, I was taking a shower" rather than "... I have been taking a shower", because the shower is definitely finished. However, I'm pretty sure this is an Am/Br-type difference and so both constructions are completely correct.

    Lou

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    #5

    Re: was taking or have been taking ?

    Quote Originally Posted by velimir View Post
    Thank you for the answer David.I would like to ask one addtional question if you would be so kind to answer.
    I'm a bit confused with shifting from the Simple Present Perfect Tense to the Simple Past Tense sometimes. For example, a boy is coming down from upstairs and his mother is telling him:

    " Where have you been? I've called you. Your lunch's got cold now."

    " Sorry mother , I didn't hear you calling me"

    Is it grammatically correct dialogue? Or he will answer :

    " Sorry mother , I havent heard you calling me"
    For me, the most natural would be:
    " Where have you been? I've been calling you. Your lunch's got cold now."

    " Sorry mother , I didn't hear you calling me"

    Quote Originally Posted by velimir View Post
    Is it grammatically correct dialogue? Or he will answer :

    " Sorry mother , I havent heard you calling me"
    This is OK but for me less probable.

    Quote Originally Posted by velimir View Post
    Also,is it possible to shift to the Simple Past Tense after "Where have you been" :

    "Where have you been? I called you."

    Thanks again
    Not for me.

    Lou

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    #6

    Re: was taking or have been taking ?

    Many thanks Louhevly, your explanation was really informative and helping.

    Best regards

    Velimir

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