Hello,

I suppose it´s all right if I say:

1) I haven´t driven a car since 2000.

My grammar book says "present perfect continous is usual in negative sentences with all verbs"

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What about present perfect continuos in this negative sentence:

2) I haven´t been driving since 2000.?? or 3) I haven´t been smoking since 2000.

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I know the negative form of the present perfect continuos also exists. However, I think there is a difference in the use. I would use the present perfect simple if the action hasn´t happened at all: 4) I haven´t waited. (I didn´t have to wait at all, because the train was on time and so was I. X However: 5) I haven´t been waiting long. (I had to wait, but not for a very long time, the action - waiting happened/occured.

Am I right?

Thank you for your answers Mowgli
Junior Member55
Hi,

I suppose it´s all right if I say:

1) I haven´t driven a car since 2000. OK

My grammar book says "present perfect continous is usual in negative sentences with all verbs" Generally speaking, this sounds odd to me.

-------

What about present perfect continuos in this negative sentence:

2) I haven´t been driving since 2000.?? or 3) I haven´t been smoking since 2000. These are OK, but would also be OK without the continuous.

--------------

I know the negative form of the present perfect continuous also exists. However, I think there is a difference in the use. I would use the present perfect simple if the action hasn´t happened at all: 4) I haven´t waited. (I didn´t have to wait at all, because the train was on time and so was I. Well, PP is 'up to the present', so the train was on time in the past and the 'not waiting' was in the past, so I'd say 'I didn't wait' or 'I didn't have to wait'. Can you find a beter example of your point?

However: 5) I haven´t been waiting long. (I had to wait, but not for a very long time, the action - waiting happened/occured. Same point, this is all a past scenario, if you are saying 'I had to wait'. If the waiting is still continuing, continuous tense does seem good, but you could find contexts where simple would be OK, eg 'I haven't waited here long, because I waited over there for an hour'.

'Negative' scenarios are trickier to analyse. If you have more questions and more examples, please write again.

Clive
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My grammar book says "present perfect continous is usual in negative sentences with all verbs"


This seems a little peculiar as a general principle stated 'out of the blue'. Were the authors trying to draw a contrast with the use of the present perfect in affirmative sentences with only certain kinds of verbs? If so, I'd be interested to know what sorts of verbs they might have been talking about.

CJ
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Hello,

excuse me. It shouhd have been: My grammar book says PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE is usual with all verbs in negative sentences. I have written PP continuous which was an accident. I try to translate exactly what this book says (It´s a Czech book for language schools - Angličtina pro jazykové školy, II, s. 30, 1988, but there are also new editions):

The present perfect simple is usual with the verbs to be, to have to know and all verbs in negative sentences instead of the present perfect simple. explanation if you can´t understand my translation: in the context where we usually use with other verbs the PPcontionuous (The PPsimple in negative sentences expresses that the acction hasn´t occured at all.):

examples from the book for the verbs to have, to be and to know : "I´ve known him for ten years. It´s been hot since Monday. I´ve had this camera for more than a year"

and negative: "It hasn´t rained since Monday. X affirmative: "It has been raining since Monday."

So, that´s why I suppose the following sentences should be wrong:

XXXIt hasn´t been raining since Monday.XXX

or the sentences from my previous post:

XXXI haven´t been driving/smoking since 2000. XXX???However, you have written: "These are OK, but would also be OK without the continuous".

I suppose the verbs which aren´t usually used in the present continuos are also not used in the present perfect continous. So the list of the verbs {have, be, know} which are used in the the present perfect simple in the contexts where other verbs have present perfect continous isn´t probably complete. (I mean not only: be, have and know. I would add other non progressive verbs / to hear, to see in the meaning of :with your eyes, to own and other)

I have a car now. (not XXX I am having a car now.XXX)

so that´s why I say :

I´ve had this camera for more than a year. and not: XXXI have been having this camera for more than a year.XXX

My example for the nonprogressive for the verb own: We have owned this house for ten years. (but: We have been rebuilding this house for ten years.) - both means to me: we still own the house, we are still rebuilding the house - own - nonprogressive verb

And now I am going to try how I understand the book of the Murphy (it´s English Grammar in Use for Intermediate students, however, I don´t have the book here and that´s why I cannot write it exactly, I am afraid. It concerns the verbs live and work:

It should be possible (according to Murphy) to use either PP simple or PP continuous in the same context with the verbs live and work:

An example from an other textbook (Enterprise III, Workbook, page 10, ex. 6, Express Publishing, 2000 (1997).

According to the key:

How long have you been working/worked there? (I suppose both means: You are still working/you still work there.)

One friend of mine says he knows the same rule for wait. So it should also be possible to say:

How long have you been waiting here/have yow waited here?

I have been waiting since eight o´clock. / I have waited since eight o´clock. - Is there any difference in meaning of those two sentences? (PPcontinous is probably more usual in this context - "since eight o´clock", isn´t it? - I would have said before: I have waited since eight o´clock is wrong.- You have written : "It´s fine. In fact, since "wait" usually refers to a period of time, I´d say continous is the more common form of the perfect tense of this verb. Does it (also) concern this special context, these two sentences, or is it probably meant in general?

(- You have also written: It is possible to use any verb in these two tenses. Does it also concern the non progressive verbs (have, be, know, own, see, hear, ...)? Can I also normally use them in the PP continuous? - for example: ???I have been having this camera for more than half a year.????

Thank you for your reply Mowgli
Anonymous:
thank yyou so much, you have been very helpful, thaanks
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