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II. The Past Simple and the Present Perfect Simple as Variants

The Past Simple and the Present Perfect are used with little or no difference in the following cases:

 

The Past Simple The Present Perfect Simple
in adverbial clauses of time which are introduced by ''since'', the principal clause is represented by such structures as ''it's many years/a long time/ ages, etc.''
It is two months since Tom smoked a cigarette. = He last smoked a cigarette two months ago. It is two months since Tom has smoked a cigarette. = He hasn't smoked a cigarette for two months.
in attributive clauses whose antecedent is a noun modified by a superlative and whose predicate denotes an action, continuing up to the moment of speaking (''ever'' is often used in such cases)
I think you are the nicest man I ever met. She is the most honest person I think I've ever met.
with the verb ''to come'' when it is followed by an infinitive of purpose and when the sentence represents direct speech
I came to tell you that ... I have come to have a talk...

 


THE PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS

I. The Formation.

The Present Perfect Continuous is formed by means of the Present Perfect Tense of the auxiliary verb 'to be' and Participle I of the notional verb.


  • He has been working.
  • Has he been working?
  • He has not been working.

II. The Use of the Present Perfect Continuous. It is used:

1) to denote an action which began in the past, continued into the present and is still going on. (the Present Perfect Continuous Inclusive)

I have been writing since I came.

What have you been doing since I have been away?

2) to denote an action which was in progress quite recently but it is no longer going on at the moment of speaking though its effects tell on the present situation in some way. (the Present Perfect Continuous Exclusive)

I am sorry. I am late. Have you been waiting long?

Your eyes are red. Have you been weeping?

3) to denote repeated actions.

I have been meeting her at the library.

People have been phoning me all day.

4) with emotional colouring to express anger, irritation, and annoyance.

Oh, my dear, I have been loving you since I saw you.

Who has been reading my business papers?

5) to denote a future action in adverbial clauses of time.

I will know the city well after I have been staying here for a month.

III. The Present Perfect Continuous vs. the Present Perfect Simple.

The Present Perfect Continuous is used: The Present Perfect Simple is used:
when it does not matter whether something has been finished or not. We are interested in the activity I've been polishing the car. when the important thing is that something has been finished. We are interested in the result of the activity I have polished the car.
mostly for shorter, temporary actions and situations That man has been standing on the corner all day. I havenít been working very well recently. to talk about longer-lasting or permanent situations For 900 years the castle has stood on the hill above the village. He has worked for years.
for an activity which is still happening (How long?) How long have you been reading this book? for a completed action (How much/ how many/ how many times?) How many pages have you read?

Date: 2015-12-17; view: 822


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