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    #1

    a little confusion

    Presuming that a boy was looking for his sister. When the boy found her, he said I had been looking for you everywhere.

    I doubt that why he used this tense. I think the action of looking for her had been finished before he spoke to her. So shouldn't it be past perfect instead?

    PS.The actual sentence that I found (in the game) is I have looking for you everywhere.

    Thanks in advance

  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: a little confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by Supachoke View Post
    Presuming that a boy had been looking for his sister, when he found her, he would say, "I've [I have] been looking for you everywhere."

    Thanks in advance.
    You're welcome!

    [I edit copy and have tutored college writing.]


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    #3

    Re: a little confusion

    Presuming that a boy was looking for his sister. When the boy found her, he said I had been looking for you everywhere.


    Imagine that a boy was looking for his sister. When the boy found her, he said: "I have been looking for you everywhere."

    So - why do we use Present Perfect Continuous, and not Past Perfect Continuous (not "Past Perfect", even though the verb form you actually suggested it be changed to is Past Perfect Continuous).
    Last edited by David L.; 23-Mar-2009 at 13:53.


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    #4

    Re: a little confusion

    but before the moment that he spoke, he found her before. Hasn't the action of finding finished before? And therefore shouldn't we change it to past simple?

  2. Soup's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: a little confusion

    [1] I had been looking for you everywhere, but could not find you, so I stopped looking for you.

    [2] I have been looking for you everywhere, and here you are now. I found you!


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #6

    Re: a little confusion

    but before the moment that he spoke, he found her before. Hasn't the action of finding finished before? And therefore shouldn't we change it to past simple?

    OK - I think we can clear up a lot of confusion here!

    shouldn't we change it to past simple?
    But the change you made was to Past Perfect 'had been looking'.
    If we changed it to Simple Past, then
    ...he said I had been looking for you everywhere.
    would become
    ...he said: "I looked for you everywhere."

    Simple Past is used for an action/event that happened in the 'remote' past, meaning 'unconnected with or not relevant to here and now, my present life. It also expresses the event as a simple fact - he either looked, or he didn't look. It does not convey any sense of the event occurring over a period of time.

    Look at what happened:

    <S......looking for her......F>|finds her.

    The Present Perfect tense tells his sister that 'looking' for her has been going on from S (when he started) up to F, the moment he found her, and speaks to her.

    Let's look at this with the Simple Past:

    <..|L|................|F
    He then says, "I looked everywhere..."
    Can you see the because the Simple Past is disconnected with the Present, it places it further back in time than the moment of finding her; BUT...actually, he was 'looking' right up to the moment of finding her!
    That's not what the Simple Past tense tells her. It tells her, I looked everywhere for you, gave up, I stopped looking....and then, oh, so there you are!

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