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Dan RU
Present perfect and present perfect continuous I know I'm certainly not the first one to ask, but I have been struggling with present perfect and present perfect continuous for years now. I think I begin to understand, but some sentences are still such puzzles for me. So, you can say: - I have been struggling with present perfect and present perfect continuous for years (since it started in the past and has continued up until now) BUT, in that situation, you could also say: - I have struggled with present perfect and present perfect continuous for years AND - I have struggled with present perfect and present perfect continuous so far (since it's still at an unspecified time, even if "so far" refer to present) Am I wright or does "for" is fobidden with the present perfect? And why couldn't you say (or could you say): He has been working for this company for 3 years. (And he still works here) He has been working for this company for 3 years. (And he stops working for them somewhere in the past) Thank you!Sorry. I made a mistake. The second sentence should have been: He HAS WORKED for this company for 3 years.
Jan 30, 2016 4:55 PM
Answers · 5
Sometimes, the English tenses are not so tidy. In addressing your examples: I have been struggling. I have struggled so far. (Both mean that struggling has occurred in the past and continues in the present. They are essentially interchangeable.) I have struggled for years. I have struggled. (Both mean that struggling occurred in the past, but may or may not continue to occur. You would need context to determine if struggling continues now.) He has been working for the company for three years. (Worked in the past, and clearly continues in the present.) He has worked for the company for three years. (Worked in the past, likely continues in the present.) He worked for the company for three years. (Worked in the past.)
January 30, 2016
The short answer is that PPS and PPC mean the same thing, and are equally natural, when your verb refers to a habit. The long answer is that they're VERY slightly different. PPC has more emphasis on duration. You may notice how ads say "We've been proudly serving the community for 20 years!", instead of "We've proudly served the community for 20 years!", even though those effectively mean the same thing. The reason is that the listener's ear focuses more strongly on the "20 years". What if you changed your sentences into "How long" questions? "How long have you struggled/have you been struggling with...?" - Here the tenses are less interchangeable: PPC would be more natural, because by definition a "How long" question focuses on duration. That being said, PPS is not wrong, just less natural. ----- "for" is very common in PP, perhaps I misunderstand your question? ----- "He has been working/has worked for this company for 3 years" are both very similar, and slightly different, for same reasons I mentioned above.
January 31, 2016
Hi. The simple expresses a completed action. For example, I've painted the kitchen, and now I'm doing the bathroom. The continuous expresses an activity over a period of time. I've got paint in my hair because I've been decorating. We use the simple if the sentence has a number or quantity, because the simple expresses completion. The continuous isn't possible. I've been reading all day. I've read ten chapters. Some verbs have the idea of a long time, for example, wait, work, play, try, learn, rain. These verbs are often found in the continuous. Some verbs don't have the idea of a long time, for example, find, start, buy, die, lose, break, stop. These verbs are more usually found in the simple. Sometimes there is no difference between the simple and the continuous. I've played football since I was a boy. I've been playing football since I was a boy.
January 30, 2016
As to your first question, the first two sentences are possible, but the third doesn't really stand alone with the "so far" (which means "up until now" in this context) and it needs some sort of consequence. You might however say something like "I have struggled with tenses so far, but now I have found Italki, I expect to master them". As to the second, you can say either "He has been working [there]" or "He has worked [there]" to indicate he still is working there, but if he has moved on, you want the simple past "He worked [there]".
January 30, 2016
Dan RU
Language Skills
English, French, Haitian Creole, Spanish
Learning Language
English, Haitian Creole, Spanish