be/have been

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wowenglish1

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I would like to know the difference in the meaning between "1" and "2".
1. I am sick with flu.
2. I have been sick with flu.
 

IHIVG

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I would like to know the difference in the meaning between "1" and "2".
1. I am sick with flu.
2. I have been sick with flu.

#1 You are sick with the flu NOW.
#2 You have been sick with the flu for some time in the past until the present moment.
 

2006

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#1 You are sick with the flu NOW.
#2 You have been sick with the flu for some time in the past until the present moment.
How is "NOW" different from "the present moment"?
 

bhaisahab

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Also, in #2 your sickness may be finished, you might be feeling better now.
 

2006

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2006

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Did IHIVG say it's not the same?
(S)he did. (S)he answered the question about their difference with two supposedly different explanations.
 

RonBee

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I would like to know the difference in the meaning between "1" and "2".
1. I am sick with flu.
2. I have been sick with flu.
The two sentences are used in different contexts. Examples:
.
A: What's the matter?
B: I am sick with the flu.


A: Why haven't you been working for the past week?
B: I have been sick with the flu.
.
In both cases, the person is still sick with the flu. (If I had been sick but I no longer am sick, I would say I was sick.)

Context is always important.

:)
 

IHIVG

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How is "NOW" different from "the present moment"?
I meant that you may have recovered, you're probably feeling well now - (in #2).
 

bhaisahab

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Then "you" should say 'I was sick with the flu.'
Not in all contexts. Can't you imagine a situation where "I have been sick with the flu" would be an appropriate thing to say?
 

Nightmare85

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I agree with bhaisahab and of course I'll tell you why and I hope it will be clear.
(Taken from a TV show.)

Person 1:
You know, this job is gonna end soon, and then I'm still your boss.
And that's the way it's always gonna be.

Person 2:
No no no, Jim, that's the way it's been, but I'm not gonna take it anymore.

So, it's been the way so far, but from now on it's over.
If you discuss this "way" some weeks (after it's over), you could say: "Do you remember the way it was?"

I hope it's a bit clear...
(Of course its sense has nothing to do with the main sentence, but it should show the use of "been".)

Cheers!
 

2006

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Not in all contexts. Can't you imagine a situation where "I have been sick with the flu" would be an appropriate thing to say?
Yes, but that's not the point.
The initial post gives us no context, but 'I am sick....' and 'I was sick...' are both very clear even without context.

If you say that in #2 "your sickness may be finished", that demonstrates that simple tense is also more accurate in this instance. So, if you are still sick, say 'I am sick....', and if the illness is over say 'I was sick...'.
 

IHIVG

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2006:
So, how would you explain the 'I have been sick' sentence then?
 

mmasny

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If you say that in #2 "your sickness may be finished", that demonstrates that simple tense is also more accurate in this instance. So, if you are still sick, say 'I am sick....', and if the illness is over say 'I was sick...'.
I don't agree. I don't see any reason for saying which tense is more accurate. It depends on what you want to say and the fact that we have no context does not change it.

IHIVG was right in what she said. When we want to say that the illness started some time ago and is still present itself or its effects are present now, we use the perfect tense. What we say is not only about facts, it's also about how we want to express them.
 

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Person 1:
You know, this job is gonna end soon, and then I'm still your boss.
And that's the way it's always gonna be.
Person 2:
No no no, Jim, that's the way it's been, but I'm not gonna take it anymore.

So, it's been the way so far, but from now on it's over.
If you discuss this "way" some weeks (after it's over), you could say: "Do you remember the way it was?"
Why do you have to wait "some weeks"? Shouldn't five minutes be long enough, or even one second?

So you can say 'No......Jim, that's the way it was, but from now on I'm not gonna.....'
Cheers!
2006
 

IHIVG

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If you say that in #2 "your sickness may be finished", that demonstrates that simple tense is also more accurate in this instance.
We were not talking about what is 'more accurate' and what is not here.
Accuracy is a matter of context, and it was not given. The OP's question was about the difference between two tenses which I tried to explain.
By the way, if the simple tense is 'more accurate' then why do we have the present perfect tense at all? What is the present perfect tense to you? Do you agree that it refers to action which has been completed? (but with regard to the present).
I'm still curious to see your explanation of 'I have been sick' example.
 

2006

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I don't agree. I don't see any reason for saying which tense is more accurate.

Did you read all the posts carefully?

IHIVG was right in what she said. When we want to say that the illness started some time ago and is still present itself or its effects are present now, we use the perfect tense.
Yes (s)he did, but bhaisahab said "in #2 your sickness may be finished" so there is some disagreement as to what the present perfect tense version means. There is no confusion about what simple present and simple past mean.
2006
 

2006

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We were not talking about what is 'more accurate' and what is not here. See my post above.
Accuracy is a matter of context, and it was not given. Context is not always need for something to be accurate.

The OP's question was about the difference between two tenses which I tried to explain. But your expanations for both have the same meaning.


By the way, if the simple tense is 'more accurate' then why do we have the present perfect tense at all? Because sometimes the present perfect is the only correct way to say something.

What is the present perfect tense to you? Do you agree that it refers to action which has been completed? (but with regard to the present).

I don't know what the underlined part means. And present perfect tense does not usually refer to action which has been completed.


I'm still curious to see your explanation of 'I have been sick' example.

Present perfect usually means that the action is ongoing. And "I have been sick." should mean that you still are sick, which you also suggested with your explanation of ".....for some time in the past until the present moment.
If it doesn't include the present moment it is over, and then 'was sick' would be correct. So we come back to the same thing, accuracy versus at least some ambiguity.
Since I said some things more than once already, I hope this will be my last post on this thread.
 

mmasny

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Since I said some things more than once already, I hope this will be my last post on this thread.
It's up to you.
There is no confusion about what simple present and simple past mean.
And what's the problem with sentences being ambiguous (especially without the context)? This is a live language, we have to deal with it everyday.
 

bhaisahab

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I don't know what the underlined part means. And present perfect tense does not usually refer to action which has been completed.
I beg to differ, the present perfect is often used to describe something that started in the past, finished recently, and still has relevance at this moment. Using the example of "I have been sick with flu", if someone said to you "I haven't seen you for a while, have you been ill? you could quite correctly say "(Yes) I have been sick with flu".
 
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