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Present Perfect Conti. vs Present Conti. Hey, I've had a difficult situation at work today (I work as a security guard) with someone who didn't speak German. So the conversation was in English and after 15 minutes of discussion I said: Security: "I think it's time for you to go now !" Villain: "Why?" Security: "Because we've been talking for more than 15 minutes and I've been trying to explain it for you but it seems you don't wanna understand it." Would a native speaker say it like that? Or would a native speaker have said: "Because we are talking for more than 15 minutes and I'm trying to explain it for you but it seems you don't wanna understand it." Does it matter which one I use? Thanks for your help.
Oct 1, 2018 6:52 PM
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Answers · 3
Yes, a native speaker would say "We've been speaking for 15 minutes". This is the only correct way to say this. And no, a native speaker would not use a present continuous - this is a classic non-native learner's error. With time references covering a period of recent time ( for 15 minutes = since 9 o'clock), when the action is still ongoing or has only just stopped, you have to use a present perfect. The present tense is NOT possible.
October 1, 2018
Hi Herbert! The first response is accurate. You would use the present perfect continuous. This is because the speaker (security) started an action in the past (tallking by way of explanation) which is still continuing to have an effect on the present. Also note, the preposition we use is "I have been trying to explain it TO you and not FOR you". Good luck with your studies!
October 1, 2018
Hi! I am not a native speaker, but I think both options work here. On the other hand, I think the second option sounds more simple. Well, I hope the natives will help you, haha. ;)
October 1, 2018
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Language Skills
English, German, Russian
Learning Language
English, Russian