Could you help me with this sentence please?

For each situation, ask a question using the word in brackets:

You see somebody fishing by the river. You ask:

(catch/any fish)

I've written: Have you been catching any fish?

But the correct answer was: Have you catched any fish?

My reasoning was that the man was still fishing so for me the important thing was the activity of catching fish. By the answer i think the book was thinking that the important thing was the result of catching fish so it has used the present perfect.

Could you please explain me how have i to think in this situation or similar? And also some advice to detect when i have to use the present perfect or the present perfect continuon.

Thank you


Mar 27, 2017 5:15 PM
Comments · 2

You would use the present perfect simple in this situation:

Have you caught any fish?

No, I haven't caught anything yet.

We use the simple form because we are focusing on the RESULT, not on the activity itself or on its duration. Here's another example:

I've been baking all morning  = activity

I've baked five cakes = result

March 27, 2017

You would say 'Have you caught any fish?' or, since the fact that anything he caught would have been a fish and that is therefore implicit (presumed), you could say 'Have you caught anything?'

In general, you would use the present perfect in a situation like this.

March 27, 2017