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Dear teachers;
Please check the following sentences.

I have been busy for the last two weeks, so I took a day off today.
Or
I had been busy for the last two weeks, so I took a day off today.

Also is it possible to say,
I have been busy lately, so I decided to take a day off tomorrow.
Or
I had been busy lately, so I took a day off last Thursday.

Or none of above are relevant?
Thanks in advance.
Comments  
Only the "have been busy" examples work.

I have been busy for the last two weeks, so I took a day off today.

I have been busy lately, so I decided to take a day off tomorrow.

"lately" doesn't go with "had been", so you'd have to change the last one to:
I had been busy, so I took a day off last Thursday.

CJ
Thank you very much, CJ.
A bit confusing to me here is the first sentence.
I have been busy for the last two weeks, so I took a day off today.

Doesn’t this mean I am not at my office today?
What I mean is that the day before this ‘today’ I must have said something like, “I’ve been busy for the last two weeks, so I decided to take a day off tomorrow.”
If my busy days were over by the night before, is it possible to say;
"I had been busy for the last two weeks, so I took a day off today."

In addition, does the sentence below work?
"She told me that she had been busy lately, so she took a day off last Thursday."
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Dear teachers;
Please check the following sentences.

1. I have been busy for the last two weeks, so I took a day off today.
Or
2. I had been busy for the last two weeks, so I took a day off today.

RanchHand: #1 is fine, but in #2 the 'had' doesn't work. The meaning of "have+PP" means "up to now" which is exactly what "for the last two weeks" means. We don't use past perfect, "had+PP" to talk about a time sequence that ends with NOW. #2 would work in a situation like this;

2A. [it's now Sunday, 6/19] I got back from London on Wednesday. I had been busy for the preceding two weeks and I hadn't had any chance for a day off so I took a day off today.

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Also is it possible to say,

3. I have been busy lately, so I decided to take a day off tomorrow.

RanchHand: The resulting 'so' sounds a wee bit funny but it would work with a fuller context already in place.

I have been busy lately, {and it is likely to continue but things have slacked off because of a mechanical breakdown in plant equipment] so I decided to take a day off tomorrow.



Or
4. I had been busy lately, so I took a day off last Thursday.

RanchHand: No, again because 'lately' has a feeling/connotation of "up to now", we don't use "had+PP" with time sequences of "up to now".

4A. [prior context has already set up the discussion pointing to a time period some time in the past, eg. "the last week of May"]

I had been really busy then, so I took a [banked] day off last Thursday. OR

I had been really busy then, so I'm taking a [banked] day off today. OR

I had been really busy then, so I'm going to take a banked day off tomorrow.
Infinity wrote:
A bit confusing to me here is the first sentence.
I have been busy for the last two weeks, so I took a day off today.

Doesn’t this mean I am not at my office today?

What I mean is that the day before this ‘today’ I must have said something like, “I’ve been busy for the last two weeks, so I decided to take a day off tomorrow.”
If my busy days were over by the night before, I don’t know why the past perfect doesn’t work here.

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RanchHand: You have to be very careful about when the sentence is spoken. The crucial words "for the last two weeks" makes the meaning one of "up to now", Infinity, which makes the past perfect impossible.

It almost certainly means that, "I am not at my office today" but 'you' could be at the office, getting something and explaining this situation to a co-worker. More exactly it means, "I am not working today".

You could say right now, right this very moment,

A. "I’ve been busy for the last two weeks, so I decided to take a day off today.”

Here, the present perfect is one of consequence/importance; the effect of the last two weeks is being made current by the speaker using "have+PP".

"I had been busy in the two weeks prior to last evening, so I decided to take a day off today.

Note here the past time point, "last evening" and its relationship to the earlier past time period, "the two weeks prior". That's what allows the past perfect to be used, but again, [VERY IMPORTANT], when we speak of a time "up to now", the past perfect becomes unuseable.
Thak you very much ranchhand!
I have one more question. When you report what someone said, for instance,
Tuesday, Kate said this:
“I have been too busy to do anything for my kids lately, so I decided to take a day off tomorrow.”

Thursday, if you want to report what she said, can you say
“Kate said that she had been too busy to do anything for her kids prior to last Wednesday, so she decided to take a day off yesterday.” ?
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Thank you very much ranchhand! I have one more question.

RH: You're very welcome, Infinity. Ask as many as you'd like.

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Infinity wrote:
When you report what someone said, for instance,
Tuesday, Kate said this:
“I have been too busy to do anything for my kids lately, so I decided to take a day off tomorrow.”

Friday, if you want to report what she said, can you say
“Kate said that she had been too busy to do anything for her kids prior to [last] Wednesday, so she decided to take a day off {yesterday ???}.” ?

RanchHand: Notice the brackets I've place around 'yesterday' and the question marks, Infintity. Don't you mean to say 'the day before yesterday' meaning 'Wednesday'?

Kate spoke on Tuesday, took the next day, Wednesday, off and the reported speech came on Friday, making 'Wednesday' not 'yesterday' but 'the day before yesterday'.

In real life, especially in speech, we don't follow the rules of concord that prescriptive grammars and style manuals suggest.

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The Grammar Book: An ESL/EFL Teacher's Course

"Unfortunately, research has not yet revealed a completely satisfying unity among these exceptions."
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In this case, I'd say that very few ENLs use use the past perfect. "she had been busy". Arguably, because the effects of "Kate's business" are still current to the discussion occuring on Friday, most would say something like this;

Note that the time word shifts to identify the actual day to the present listener {Friday}.

Kate said/told me that she has been too busy to do anything for her kids lately, so she decided to take a day off the day before yesterday.

There is, of course, the potential for a misunderstanding on what day it was that Kate took off but in conversation, we make certain assumptions that we would never make in writing. In speech, potential misunderstandings can be cleared up easily.

Also, in speech, the actual time of the day off may not even be mentioned as it could be peripheral or completely unimportant to the main thrust of the discussion.

Thanks again, Ranchhand. Actually I’d realized the inconsistency and edited it before your post.
I perfectly understand that it’s more usual to use Present Perfect + Simple Past on that sentence.
But I wonder whether the sentences below make sense or not.

“The burden on the assignment (I have been working on) has gotten greater lately, so I took a day off last Sunday.”

or

"It's gotten colder in Osaka lately, I bought a new overcoat last Friday."
Infinity wrote:
Thanks again, Ranchhand.

RH: Again, my pleasure.

Infinity:
Actually I’d realized the inconsistency and edited it before your post.

RH: Perfect use of the past perfect.Emotion: smile

I:
I perfectly understand that it’s more usual to use Present Perfect + Simple Past on that sentence.
But I wonder whether the sentences below make sense or not.

“The burden on the assignment (I have been working on) has gotten greater lately, so I took a day off last Sunday.”

or

"It's gotten colder in Osaka lately, Emotion: football I bought a new overcoat last Friday."

RH: I don't see anything wrong with them, Infinity.
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