Questions with "Have been".

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tufguy

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What have you been up to this last week?

What were you up to this last week?

These both sentences mean almost the same. Could you please tell me whether we have to answer with (I guess "Answer with have been" is correct usage here) "Have been" if someone asks any question with "Have been"?

Please check.
 

Matthew Wai

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I would use either 'this' or 'last' but not 'this last'.

What have you been up to this week?
What were you up to last week?
 

GoesStation

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What have you been up to this last week?

What were you up to this last week?

These both sentences mean almost the same. Could you please tell me whether we have to answer with (I guess "Answer with have been" is correct usage here) "Have been" if someone asks any question with "Have been"?

Have been, the present perfect, emphasizes ongoing activities: What have you been up to this week (which you're still doing)? The natural response would use the present perfect continuous: I've mostly been practicing the piano.

The simple past suggests you stopped the activity: What were you up to last week (before you had to stop)? A response would probably use the past continuous: I was worrying so much I couldn't get anything done.
 

tufguy

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Have been, the present perfect, emphasizes ongoing activities: What have you been up to this week (which you're still doing)? The natural response would use the present perfect continuous: I've mostly been practicing the piano.

The simple past suggests you stopped the activity: What were you up to last week (before you had to stop)? A response would probably use the past continuous: I was worrying so much I couldn't get anything done.

Can we also say "What have you been up to last week?"
 

Matthew Wai

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The present perfect does not match 'last week', a past-time marker.
 

emsr2d2

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However, "What have you been up to for the last week?" is fine, because adding "for" means "for the last seven days, up to and including today".
 

tufguy

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However, "What have you been up to for the last week?" is fine, because adding "for" means "for the last seven days, up to and including today".

Okay, got it "what have you been up to for the last week?" If somebody asks me this question and I want to tell about an activity that lasted for few days only so what I have to say? Like I celebrated a festival so can I use past tense like "I celebrated XYZ festival".
 

Matthew Wai

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(In the last week) I have celebrated the XYZ festival.
 

tufguy

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emsr2d2

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Okay, got it "what have you been up to for the last week?" If somebody asks me this question and I want to tell about an activity that lasted for few days only so what I have to say? Like I celebrated a festival so can I use past tense like "I celebrated XYZ festival".

No, it has nothing to do with the length of the activity/activities. The person is simply asking you what you've been doing recently. For example, this would be my answer if someone asked me what I had been up to for the last week.

"Last Monday, I met up with a friend for lunch. On Tuesday, I went to visit my dad, took him out for lunch and gave him a big bag of presents for his 80th birthday, which was on Thursday but I couldn't see him that day. I was at work Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Friday evening, I went out for drinks and a Greek meal with a big group of friends. On Saturday, I went into town and had a wander round the shops but I didn't buy anything. My stepmum and I had organised a big surprise birthday lunch on Sunday for my dad's 80th. That went really well! He was very surprised!"
 

tufguy

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No, it has nothing to do with the length of the activity/activities. The person is simply asking you what you've been doing recently. For example, this would be my answer if someone asked me what I had been up to for the last week.

"Last Monday, I met up with a friend for lunch. On Tuesday, I went to visit my dad, took him out for lunch and gave him a big bag of presents for his 80th birthday, which was on Thursday but I couldn't see him that day. I was at work Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Friday evening, I went out for drinks and a Greek meal with a big group of friends. On Saturday, I went into town and had a wander round the shops but I didn't buy anything. My stepmum and I had organised a big surprise birthday lunch on Sunday for my dad's 80th. That went really well! He was very surprised!"

I was just asking can I use past tense as well for a thing that I have already completed doing? You wrote "Had been" did you want to write "Have been"?
 
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Matthew Wai

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I was just asking can I use past tense as well for a thing that I have already completed doing?
1. I have already finished my work.
2. I already finished my work.

Without context, I think both can be used.
 

emsr2d2

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BrE tends to use the present perfect in that construction. I seem to recall that AmE uses the past simple as well.
 
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