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Hi everyone! I'm very glad to be a new member of this forum, this forum is great! My english isn't really good, but I'll try to explain myself the best way I can. I have read a lot this forum, but this point isn't very clear: if someone says

"John has watched TV for two hours / since nine o'clock." is John still watching TV? or could he just have stopped?

So, the question is, in sentences like above or like "She has been here for two hours / since..." , "I have lived here for ten years / since...", if I don't have any context, what should I think? Does "for/since" include the present time or not? ( That is, is the action still going on or could the action just have stopped?)

I ask so because my grammar books explain the above difference for the present perfect continuous (PPC) ( in which you can't understand without a context), but about present perfect (PP) they only give examples like

"I have lived here for ten years." (= I still live here) ???????? Why are they so sure? Couldn't he just have moved? If you say "I have been living here for ten years", it doesn't necessarily mean that you still live here, without a context. Therefore I think the rules are the same for PP and PPC, it's just a matter of emphasis on continuity and time length. ( I hope soEmotion: smile )

Well, now I would like to get advice from someone about this question. Could anyone kindly express their opinion? ThanksEmotion: wink
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Hello Kooyeen

"Since 1995" is "from 1995 up to now". "For 10 years" does not always imply "for five years up to now". Technically it can imply a period of five years at an arbitrary time in the past.
(EX-1) I have stayed at this hotel for over 20 days in the last five years.

As for the differences between (simple present perfect or SPP) and "have been doing" (PPC), they depend on the types of verbs. SPP tense, in general, can be used one of the four ways:
(EX-2) He has lived here since 2000.[continuous event up to now]
(EX-3) It has rained almost every day for a week.[event repeated up to now]
(EX-4) I have been in London. [event at an undefined past]
(EX-5) He has got a PhD from Harvard. [past event to emphasize the result]

On the other hand, PPC tense commonly means "continuous event up to now". 100%-stative verbs cannot be used in PPC tense. For example, if you use "has been belonging" in the sentence below, it would sound weird.
(EX-6) The island has belonged to Great Britain since 1775.
However, in the case the verbs are 70%-stative (stance verbs), we can use both SPP and PPC.
(EX-7) I have lived in Rome since 2003
(EX-8) I have been living in Rome since 2003.
The two sentences are thought to be almost the same in the meaning, and they both imply the speaker still lives in Rome. However, some grammarians suggest there could be some difference. According to them, (EX-8) could be uttered by a speaker who has an intention to move in future. It is because English continuous aspect gives a notion of temporariness when it applies to stative verbs.

In the case when the verb is a dynamic one like "watch TV", what SPP tense means is highly dependent on the context.
(EX-9) John has watched TV for two hours since 7:00 PM.
If it is 11:00, we cannot know whether John is watching TV now. In this case, this sentence means John began to watch TV at 7:00 PM and the total time in which he has watched TV sums up to 2 hours by now. But if you use PPC tense, i.e.,
(EX-10) John has been watching TV for two hours since 7:00 PM.
it inevitably implies the time is now 9:00 PM.

paco
I have lived in Chicago for 10 years : Without context, I will assume that the person is still living there...but can't be 100% positive.

I had lived in Chicago for 10 years: I am almost certain that the person is presently not living in Chicago...unless he moved away from Chicago to Philadelphia, then now just came back to Chicago as he is talking.
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Thanks a lot guys! Could you kindly check out some of my sentencence? I'll give you some examples, so I will be able to understand it better ( take these sentence as they are, without adding any context) :

1. He has worked here for a year (= during last year, up to now, but what he's doing now isn't clear, maybe you could guess it)

2. He has worked here since 1995 (= up to now, but as above, you can't be sure he is still working here)

3. He has worked here for a month since last year (= "for" doesn't imply "up to now", but there must be "since" that involves a time frame from "some past moment" up to "now")

4. He has worked here for a year during the First World War ( ??? wrong?? I think is better "He had worked.." or "he worked..")

5. (while watching TV and talking whit a friend...) "Hey Peter, we have watched TV for four hours!!" (= the context make you see they are still watching TV)

6. He had worked here for a year (= not "up to now" but "up to some past moment")

7. (You meet your friend and he is studying...) "What are you doing?" "Well, I'm studying. I have watched TV for an hour." or "I'm studying. I've watched TV since nine o'clock." or ".....I've been watching TV for five hours!!" ( = the context make you see that the action isn't going on any more, and "for" or"since" implies either "up to now" or "up to a recent moment". By the way, PPC put emphasis)

8. (this morning I watched TV, now is evening, I'm reading and I say...) "I've watched TV for two hours." (??? I think I can't say so. I think I could better say "I watched..." or "I had watched...", because the action hasn't just finished and the moment that it finished isn't really recent)

9. Changing PP to PPC in 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, is only a matter of emphasis ( on time length or continuity of the action)???

I hope those sentences are rigth, otherwise I'll have to erase them from my mind and reset my brain!!Emotion: crying Emotion: big smileEmotion: big smileEmotion: big smile

I would like an opinion about the above sentences and their comments, just whether they are right or not. I need help because in italian language the above sentences have a different meaning, so I'd like to understand this matter very well.

Many thanksin advance! RegardsEmotion: smile
1. He has worked here for a year (= during last year, up to now, but what he's doing now isn't clear, maybe you could guess it)
It's fine.
2. He has worked here since 1995 (= up to now, but as above, you can't be sure he is still working here)
It's fine.
3. He has worked here for a month since last year (= "for" doesn't imply "up to now", but there must be "since" that involves a time frame from "some past moment" up to "now")
It's grammatically correct, but a sentence like "He worked here for a month last year" might be more natural if he is not working now.
4. He has worked here for a year during the First World War ( ??? wrong?? I think is better "He had worked.." or "he worked..")
Yes, you are right. It is more natural to use the simple past tense when you talk some event in the remote past. The use of the perfect tense can be validated only in special context. For example,
A: Sounds like you are familiar with this city. Why?
B: Because I've worked here for a year during the First World War.
This use of the present perfect tense can be validated because the past experience of the speaker results in the present fact that he is familiar with city.
5. (while watching TV and talking whit a friend...) "Hey Peter, we have watched TV for four hours!!" (= the context make you see they are still watching TV)
Yes you can use it.
6. He had worked here for a year (= not "up to now" but "up to some past moment")
You may use it. But your listener couldn't take what you meant if you didn't give any additional explanations.
7. (You meet your friend and he is studying...) "What are you doing?" "Well, I'm studying. I have watched TV for an hour." or "I'm studying. I've watched TV since nine o'clock." or "...I've been watching TV for five hours!!" ( = the context make you see that the action isn't going on any more, and "for" or"since" implies either "up to now" or "up to a recent moment". By the way, PPC put emphasis)
I think it should be in the simple present perfect tense. If you use the present perfect continuous tense, you means the action is still going on.
"Hey, Giovanni, what are you doing"
"Well, I'm studying now a bit, because I have (already) watched TV for an hour this evening"
8. (this morning I watched TV, now is evening, I'm reading and I say...) "I've watched TV for two hours." (??? I think I can't say so. I think I could better say "I watched..." or "I had watched...", because the action hasn't just finished and the moment that it finished isn't really recent)
I think the use of the simple past tense is suitable to this case.
"I'm now reading an English text book because I watched TV for two hours this morning".
9. Changing PP to PPC in 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, is only a matter of emphasis (on time length or continuity of the action)???
The use of PPC emphasizes the action is still going on.

paco
Just one or two supplementary comments:

3. He has worked here for a month since last year (= "for" doesn't imply "up to now", but there must be "since" that involves a time frame from "some past moment" up to "now")

— This is slightly odd, as Paco says. This particular combination implies that, since last year, he has worked here for an aggregate of one month – e.g. a week in April, a week in May, and two weeks in November. Even so, it's strange, as you don't usually use "a month" as the measure in such contexts: you would say, instead, "he has worked here for (a total of) 4 weeks since last year".

4. He has worked here for a year during the First World War ( ??? wrong?? I think is better "He had worked.." or "he worked..")

— The perfect perfect tense + "during the First World War" sounds very strange: since "the First World War" is a set period, it must be complete at the time of speaking. That conflicts with the "connection to the present" nature of the present perfect.

5. (while watching TV and talking whit a friend...) "Hey Peter, we have watched TV for four hours!!" (= the context make you see they are still watching TV)

— It would be more natural to use the progressive, i.e. "...we have been watching tv..."

MrP
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Thank you all very much for having dedicate your time to helping me.

I agree with you about the sentence n. 3, I didn't make me understood very well, I meant another thing but it doesn't matter.

What I have to say is that I don't agree with Paco in n. 4 : I think I can't say "He has worked here for a year during the First World War" in any context. I have learned that either PP+for or PP+since always connect the past with the present time. Therefore every time you see those grammatical structures, the time frame of the action ends with either "now" or "a (very) recent moment in the past".

Also, I don't agree with Paco ( excuse me Paco Emotion: smileEmotion: smileEmotion: wink ) when he said that PPC imply that the action is still going on.

"Why are your clothes so dirty? What have you been doing?" (you are doing nothing now, nothing that could make your clothes dirty)

A:"What are you doing here?" B:"I'm waiting for my girfriend. I've been waiting for an hour!" ( you are still waiting)

Later...A:"Where have you been? I have been waiting for you for two hours!" ( you aren't still waiting, she is with you now)

Could anyone tell me if I'm right, please? I have found examples like above in my grammar book... What would you say Paco? MrPedantic? Anyone?

I need just an opinion.... Thanks and regards.Emotion: smile
Hello

I know PPC can be used to express an activity that has ended immediately before the speech, particularly in the context the speaker wants to emphasize the current state that was caused by the activity. However, I think this secondary usage of PPC comes from one of general features of the present perfective tense, so I'll answer the same as previously if I am asked about how PPC differs from SPP.

paco
Ok, thanks a lot. I think now I can better understand all the forms of present perfect. But I have to say all grammar books and all website I have seen so far haven't been very clear about this question. And I don't now why!

Thank you very much! We will surely meet again in this forumEmotion: smile

Regards
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