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Scenario: I haven't seen this girl for a long time and now I'm here seeing here and she asks, "what are you smiling about?" And I say:

1. Nothing, it is just that I haven't seen you for so long. (I have heard this many times but why can I still use the present perfect when I'm seeing her now?)

2. Nothing, it is just that I hadn't seen you for so long. (Why not use this one? If it is inappropriate, when would I use it then?)

Thanks.
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Comments  
#2 is inappropriate. He is smiling at the time of the utterance. As I have said many and many a time, do not use past perfect unless there are two past events, and there is potential confusion about the order of their occurrence or there is some reason to emphasize their temporal relationship.

Mister Micawber#2 is inappropriate. He is smiling at the time of the utterance. As I have said many and many a time, do not use past perfect unless there are two past events, and there is potential confusion about the order of their occurrence or there is some reason to emphasize their temporal relationship.

1. Nothing, it is just that I haven't seen you for so long. (But I'm seeing her now? And present perfect sitll works? Why is that? )

Thanks.
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Just as it works in:

I haven't had a peach in six months. (while eating a peach)
I haven't attended an English lesson since January. (while taking a lesson)
I haven't seen Los Angeles for 15 years! (while deplaning at LAX)

Duration from an unspecified past point until now. The precise now point need not be at the instant of utterance, Jack-- it is just a guideline. Present perfect connects the past with the present in sometimes subtle ways.
hi

I heard or read somehwere that present progressive + to see is NOT possible.
Cant quite remember anymore, but I guess I didn't understad it either.
So, is there any rule according to which the verb to see mustn't be combinated with present progressive?

If not, then I'm mixing something up.
Dear Globetrotter,

It is grammatical to say «I am seeing».

  • I am seeing double.

  • He is seeing things.

  • Are you seeing an error message?

  • I do not understand some of the things that I am seeing on the screen.

  • I am seeing your wife tomorrow night.
Kind regards, Emotion: smile

Goldmund
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Mister MicawberJust as it works in:

I haven't had a peach in six months. (while eating a peach)
I haven't attended an English lesson since January. (while taking a lesson)
I haven't seen Los Angeles for 15 years! (while deplaning at LAX)

Duration from an unspecified past point until now. The precise now point need not be at the instant of utterance, Jack-- it is just a guideline. Present perfect connects the past with the present in sometimes subtle ways.

What about this:

Scenario: I finally have money to purchase a new car. I'm getting it tomorrow.

1. I have been waiting so long for this. (Does this express that I'm still waiting for a new car?)

2. I had been waiting so long for this. (So this is no good? If so, how do I express that I'm not waiting for it anymore?)

Thanks.
I believe the first one is right because you are getting the car tomorrow; therefore, you are still technically waiting to get the car.

Also I've been instructed to only use past perfect tense when two things occured in the past and you want to let the audience know which event happened first. (Does this sentence make sense??)

If you want to express that you are not waiting for the car anymore, you could say "I had bought the car after I waited for so long." Does this sentence work? It implies that first, you save money and wait, then you buy the car.

Hope this helps (Please check that sentence, it felt funny when I wrote it)
What if I just bought the car? What would I use?

1. I had waited so long for this car. (So I have the car now and I'm not waiting anymore. But past perfect is incorrect here? How do I express myself not waiting anymore then?)

2. I have waited so long for this car. (This doesn't necessary mean that I'm still waiting for the car right? I think I'm getting this now.)

And these ones:

What do these ones mean?

1. I just started laughing because it was the funniest thing I had ever seen. (With 'had' here, it shows which event happened first?)

2. I just started laughing because it was the funniest thing I have ever seen. (I think this one is wrong but at the same time I think it is right now. If it is right, why? Or not why? )

Thanks.
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