+1
Hi,
  1. I have been searching the Net for two hours, but I haven't found the drivers you asked me, sorry dude.
  2. I have been searching the Net for two hours, but I didn't find the drivers you asked me, sorry dude.
Considering American usage, are the above sentences both acceptable? Does a past tense (sentence #2) sound odd in that sentence? I think that both of those sentences are alright.

Thank you.
+1
I have been searching... but I haven't found it.
I searched... but I didn't find it.

I'm sure you'll HEAR something similar to #2, but that doesn't make it right... dude. Emotion: wink

1 2 3
Comments  
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Grammar Geek, can I say:

I have searched... but I didn't find it. => is this substandard or completely incorrect?
That sounds okay to me. It was the "I have been searching" that was the problem with using "didn't." With "have been searching," it says that the search is still going on. "I have searched" says the search is over too, so "didn't find it" is okay - it's also in the past.
Grammar GeekThat sounds okay to me. It was the "I have been searching" that was the problem with using "didn't." With "have been searching," it says that the search is still going on. "I have searched" says the search is over too, so "didn't find it" is okay - it's also in the past.
Uh-oh! Who told you that the search is still going on? I thought that the present perfect and present perfect continuous were used to refer to an action or activity that lasts up to now or that just ended. It is the context that tell us if something is still going on or not, not the verb tenses. (Example: "Sniff, sniff... someone has been smoking here..." -- There's no one smoking when you say that sentence)

In my original example, the action just ended, the search in not still going on. Here's the original example with some context:

Bill turn off his PC and go to Steve's room. - Bill: Steve?
Steve: Hey... so?
Bill: I've been searching for that file for two hours, but I didn't find it... sorry dude.
Steve: Oh, ok, it doesn't matter, thanks.

As you can see, the action is not still going on, Bill just gave up searching. That is, the present perfect or persent perfect continuous is used to refer to an action that has lasted up to now or up to a recent point in time (it depends on the context how recent that point can be). This is what I learned, I hope I got it right.

Comments and corrections will be appreciated, thanks. Emotion: smile
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
I have searched... but I haven't found it.
AnonymousI have searched... but I haven't found it.
I agree.
As appealing as Kooyeen's example is, sometimes the perfect tenses must yield to the nature of the particular verb being used, as well as to the context.

Someone has been smoking/searching in this room!
This is a an inference based on certain evidence. That same evidence indicates that both activities have ceased.

I have been searching [elsewhere] for that item for two days!
There's nothing here to indicate that the search is over/completed.

Edit.Sorry, Kooyeen! Emotion: big smile The sequence here is a bit muddled.
Are we talking present perfect vs. present perfect continuous??

I do agree that context can override tense as to whether or not the action is completed. Is that your position?

I can't tell if you're for or against GG's opinion that present perfect indicates the action is complete while present perfect continuous does not. Emotion: thinking
KooyeenAs you can see, the action is not still going on, Bill just gave up searching.
No, actually I'm afraid I can't see that. Emotion: shake
Steve didn't say, "Don't bother to search any more."
if there is a present perfect it means that the action hasnt finished yet and it still might be done. if you say I searched..but I didnt find means you are not going to look for it anymore...
the most correct is I've been searching but I haven't found...
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Asima117if there is a present perfect it means that the action hasnt finished yet
Usually it does mean the action in question is over (which does not mean that it cannot be done again, mind you). The exceptions would be work, live, teach and possibly a few more.

I have lived here for 20 years.
I have worked for this company for 15 years.

The Present Perfect Continous would be OK here as well.
______

For me, the Present Perfect Continous usually suggests that the action is still going on, yet I can think of some exceptions to the rule. Consider:

(to someone who has just shown up late) I've been waiting for you for 20 minutes. Where have you been?

Michal
Show more