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Hi teachers,

Would you please tell me when you would use one over the other in these pairs? Thank you.

1.a. He is testing positive for cocaine [~ the results are not back yet? ]

1.b. He has tested positive for cocaine [~ the results are back? ]

2.a. Why hasn't she called?

2.b. Why is she not calling?

3.a. The pipe is not leaking.

3b. The pipe hasn't leaked [~ Present Perfect is used when you announced that "something has happened", like Ow! I've cut my finger; I've lost my key]

Thank you

TN

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tinanam01021.a. He is testing positive for cocaine.

??? Strange sentence. Maybe if he has been tested again and again, for example, every week, and the test comes back positive every time, and you expect him to test positive again as time goes by, you could say this.

tinanam01021.b. He has tested positive for cocaine.

This sounds like he recently had one test and it came back positive, but you can add "twice" or "three times", etc., if you want to specify that this happened more than once.

tinanam01022.a. Why hasn't she called?

She hasn't called. I'm waiting for her to call.

tinanam01022.b. Why is she not calling? (Why isn't she calling?)

a) She hasn't called. (same as above)
b) She's supposed to make calls repeatedly (as if she is at a call center that does political polling, for example), but she is just sitting there staring into space, or she's absent from her usual place. Maybe she's having lunch now, and that's why she's not calling.

tinanam01023.a. The pipe is not leaking.

There is nothing wrong with the pipe. Maybe somebody thinks it's leaking but you've checked and found no leaks, so this is what you tell them. Don't worry. The pipe is not leaking.

tinanam01023b. The pipe hasn't leaked.

This sounds like you have recently fixed a leak or have had a plumber fix the leak. The leak has stopped. The pipe doesn't leak anymore like it used to. Usually you have a 'since' clause: The pipe hasn't leaked since the plumber fixed it last Tuesday.

CJ

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Hi CalifJim,

Thanks for your help.

1. I heard it on the news, something like "Paul Smith testing positive for cocaine" (It's not a real name). Now that I think about it, anchors on TV report news using sentences without a verb in most cases. Maybe the sentence meant "Paul Smith, testing positive for cocaine ( Paul Smith has tested positive for cocaine) in its original sense. Is it logical to think that?

2. In this sentence: The company I work for is not doing very good this year (period around now)

Grammar book says we use also present perfect with today, this morning, this year when these periods are not finished at the time of speaking

If this year is not finished, shouldn't I say: The company I work for hasn't done very good this year?

I hope you have a great day.

TN

tinanam01021. I heard it on the news, something like "Paul Smith testing positive for cocaine" (It's not a real name). Now that I think about it, anchors on TV report news using sentences without a verb in most cases. Maybe the sentence meant "Paul Smith, testing positive for cocaine ( Paul Smith has tested positive for cocaine) in its original sense. Is it logical to think that?

It could be that. Sometimes there's no way of knowing exactly what other people mean by what they say.

tinanam0102The company I work for is not doing very good well this year.

This is fine (except 'good' should be 'well').

tinanam0102If this year is not finished, shouldn't I say: The company I work for hasn't done very well this year?

This is also fine, but you would probably wait until the end of the year, or almost the end of the year, before you said this. Otherwise, you would want to add "so far":

The company I work for hasn't done very well so far this year.

tinanam0102My grammar book says we use also present perfect with today, this morning, this year when these periods are not finished at the time of speaking.

You misunderstood something. We can use the present perfect tense in those cases, but we don't always have to.

tinanam0102I hope you have a great day.

You too. Emotion: smile

CJ

Hi CalifJim,

Thanks again for your help.

It is "well" in the grammar book. I read it wrong.

CalifJimYou misunderstood something. We can use the present perfect tense in those cases, but we don't always have to

Do you mean something like this?

Quote "For a brief period of time this year I kept a diary"

1. Does it mean we can either use "have kept" or "kept"?

2. How far into "this year" he means? At the end of the year?


Why hasn't she called?

Why isn't she calling?

1. In this very moment, I'm waiting for her to call. Does that mean I can either say one of these:

Why hasn't she called? or Why isn't she calling?

2. In the same token, while I'm calling her at this moment, I can say:

Why hasn't she picked up her phone? or Why isn't she picking up her phone?


She's coming to the library every day to study

Present continuous with every day is used here, could it be a temporary situation maybe she has an upcoming test?


She's coming to the library this year to study

Would you say something like that to mean she will come to the library sometime this year?


She's come to the library every day to study

1. Could it be like "since her little brother was born"? or "for two weeks now"?

2. I'd like to go back to you using "If he has been tested every week", do you try to convey "every week for a period time, maybe 3 weeks or four weeks"?


I'm extremely sorry for a very long post.

Thank you

TN

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tinanam0102

Quote "For a brief period of time this year I kept a diary"

1. Does it mean we can either use "have kept" or "kept"?
2. How far into "this year" he means? At the end of the year?

In this case you have "for a brief period of time". That's a "closed" period as I see it, so only "kept" works for me.

[ 'closed' means the period came to an end in the past, before you talked about it. 'open' means the period is still continuing as you speak. ]

To make the period open, so that you can use the present perfect, use the continuous aspect: I have been keeping a diary this year. This way you tell the listener that you are still keeping a diary.

tinanam0102We can use the present perfect tense in those cases, but we don't always have to.

What I mean by this is that the word "today", for example, does not force you to use the present perfect. You could be talking about a closed period earlier in the same day. For example, in the afternoon you can say Laura and Susan had lunch at Carlton's today. There is no rule that says it should be have had lunch. In fact, have had lunch is wrong with today in this case.

The "rule", if there is one, means you can say things like I haven't seen Ben yet today. I wonder where he is. That's a case where the present perfect and "today" can go together.

Frankly, I think when books mention things like 'today', 'this week', etc. with regard to the use of the present perfect, they just confuse students.

CJ

tinanam0102

Why hasn't she called?

Why isn't she calling?

1. In this very moment, I'm waiting for her to call. Does that mean I can either say one of these:

Why hasn't she called? or Why isn't she calling?

Yes. They are both completely appropriate in that situation.

tinanam01022. In By the same token, while I'm calling her at this moment, I can say: Why hasn't she picked up her phone? or Why isn't she picking up her phone?

Yes. Same idea as above.

CJ

tinanam0102

She's coming to the library every day to study.

Present continuous with 'every day' is used here. Could it be a temporary situation? Maybe she has an upcoming test?

Yes.

tinanam0102

She's coming to the library this year to study.

Would you say something like that to mean she will come to the library sometime this year?

Yes. The present continuous can be used to talk about the future.

tinanam0102

She's come to the library every day to study.

1. Could it be like "since her little brother was born"? or "for two weeks now"?

2. I'd like to go back to you using "If he has been tested every week". do you try Are you trying to convey "every week for a period time, maybe 3 weeks or four weeks"?

1. Yes. Either of those can be added to your sentence.

2. Yes. I take it you're referring to my comment on the sentence He is testing positive for cocaine where I used "every week" as an example. In order to establish the pattern of "testing positive" I suppose we would need at least two positive tests, but if we get even more positive tests, then we are even more sure that there is a pattern that we can report as He is testing positive for cocaine.

CJ

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Hi CalifJim,

Thank you so much for guiding me through this topic. Thanks for your intuition into the questions the way I have presented.

I hope you have a wonderful day.

TN