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  1. blouen's Avatar
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    #1

    Present Perfect/Continuous

    I have worked in the company for 2 years.
    I have been working in the company for 2 years.


    * I think both are usable. However, what's the most obvious difference between the two?

    Please help me explain the difference between Present Perfect and Present Perfect Continuous.

    Thanks!

  2. ATDM's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: Present Perfect/Continuous

    Intuitively, I would say that when you use "I have worked" version, it implies that you are done working for them and ready to quit... It is finite...

    "I have been working" gives an impression of you continuing to work there.

    Just an opinion.

    Hope it helps

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Present Perfect/Continuous

    I agree with ATDM.

  4. blouen's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Present Perfect/Continuous

    Then what difference does "I have worked in the company for 2 years" with "I worked in the company for 2 years" have?


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    #5

    Re: Present Perfect/Continuous

    Intuitively, I would say that when you use "I have worked" version, it implies that you are done working for them and ready to quit... It is finite...

    "I have been working" gives an impression of you continuing to work there.

    I disagree. And the problem here is the way we now view 'having a job'.

    If I say "I have lived here all my life", the verb form is purely looking back from now, to one's birth; and if anything, the expectation one will continue to live 'here'.
    "I have been living here all my life" - despite how many years this may have been - would imply to the listener that the speaker is feeling like a change, imagining that situation coming to an end, and moving, The use of a Continuous form implies foreseeing an end to the action/state.

    'I have worked' is looking back over the time since the person started at the firm, till now. This is fine, if one starts with a company, and works there till they retire; or at the time, is not thinking about leaving the job.
    Nowadays, who conceives of working at the same place all their lives? Hence, even when we have no immediate plans to 'move on, move up', we have come to use the expression 'have been working' because in our minds, we don't see it as permanent

  5. supada's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Present Perfect/Continuous

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post

    'I have worked' is looking back over the time since the person started at the firm, till now. This is fine, if one starts with a company, and works there till they retire; or at the time, is not thinking about leaving the job.
    Nowadays, who conceives of working at the same place all their lives? Hence, even when we have no immediate plans to 'move on, move up', we have come to use the expression 'have been working' because in our minds, we don't see it as permanent
    I don't quite get over it yet.

    I have worked in the company for 2 years.
    I have been working in the company for 2 years.

    What is a nuance of those 2 sentences that blouen brought up? Which sentence is correct to say in what expression?

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    #7

    Re: Present Perfect/Continuous

    I’m not a teacher.

    Hi blouen,

    There are a few words concerning the matter in question.

    With certain non-terminative verbs both the Present Perfect Inclusive and the Present Perfect Continuous Inclusive are used.

    We have worked at the problem for months. (The fact is emphasized.)

    We have been working and working at the problem for months. (The process is emphasized. )

    The Present Perfect and the Present Perfect Continuous

    The Present Perfect denotes a completed action while with the Present Perfect Continuous there is an implication of incompleteness.

    He had made some experiments.
    He has been making experiments.

    Why are your lips black?
    I have been eating blackberries. I have eaten a whole plateful.

    She is walking up and down the room thinking of the letter she has been writing and wondering how she should finish it.
    She is going to post the letter she has just written.

    I have been thinking things over and I’ve made up my mind to go.

    I had you in my mind, and you have never been out of my mind while I have been writing this book.

    Regards,

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 26-Nov-2008 at 16:16.

  6. ATDM's Avatar

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    #8

    Smile Re: Present Perfect/Continuous

    Both versions a grammatically correct, but the implications (though maybe subconscious) are different. As I mentioned before, the I have worked version implies completion, finality. The I have been working version implies continuity. Hence, the terms used to assign the verbs. I still stand by my opinion, although my mind is open to change: I am not an expert, just a learner (if I did not mention it before - English is my fifth language)...

    The previous member discussed the process vs. the problem, but the original statements only reveal work and working and mention nothing about a problem that was the subject of that work. They are rather general statements, therefore my opinion is based on the generality of the sentences, and they are both grammatically correct... What version is chosen by the speaker would depend on the context of the conversation and to whom he or she is talking (a peer, an interviewer to get a new job, etc.)

    Hope it helps...
    Last edited by ATDM; 26-Nov-2008 at 14:20.


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    #9

    Re: Present Perfect/Continuous

    Sorry, folks, but David L's analysis is the correct one.

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    #10

    Re: Present Perfect/Continuous

    Hi David.L, and naomimalan,

    I beg your pardon but with all respect to you I have to let you know that I am not hold with your opinion concerning the matter in question. I took the view of my respected colleagues ATDM and bhaisahab.

    There is my considered opinion:

    We distinguish two uses of the Present Perfect Continuous: the Present Perfect Continuous Incisive and the Present Perfect Continuous Exclusive.

    1. The Present Perfect Continuous Inclusive is used to denote an action which began in the past, has been going on up to the present and is still going on.

    The PPCI is generally used with since (denoting the starting point in the action), for (denoting the whole period of duration), these two days etc. (If the conjunction since introduces a clause, the verb in this clause is in the Past Indefinite.)

    I have been looking out for your white dress for the last ten minutes. (Bennett)
    Ever since I saw you last I have been thinking, thinking. (Dreiser)

    In colloquial English the verb to want and to whish are often to be found in the Perfect Continuous form, though, usually they are not used in the Continuous form.

    I have been wishing to speak ever since you returned.

    I have been teaching at this school for 20 years. (I was, I am still …and I will be a teacher in this school.)

    2. The Present Perfect Continuous Exclusive denotes an action which was recently in progress but is no longer going on at the present moment.

    You are not well to-day. You look distressed. You have been weeping. (Dickens)

    The Present Perfect Continuous Exclusive is used to express repeated actions in the past.

    How have you been spending your money?
    I have been buying pictures.
    I have been getting letters from him.

    The Present Perfect Continuous Exclusive is often used with an emotional coloring.

    I suppose you have been telling lies again. (Marryat)

    Your eyes are red. (now). You have been crying. (before).

    But

    I have been reading Dombey and Son for three days. (I have only read half of it)

    I know also that there is a Present Perfect (Present Perfect Inclusive) which denotes an action which began in the past, has been going on up to the present and is still going on. In this case either the starting point of the action is indicated or the whole period of duration. The preposition "for" is used to denote the whole period of duration.

    We have been engaged these four years.
    The Present Perfect Inclusive is used with non-terminative verbs such as to live, to work, to study, to teach, to travel etc. (In this case the Present Perfect Continuos is possible.)

    I have worked upon the problem for a long time without reaching any conclusion.
    I have been working the problem for a long time without reaching any conclusion.

    I have known him for many years.

    I have always been fond of music.

    Regards,

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 02-Dec-2008 at 11:46.

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