+0
Three sets of questions about verb tenses:

1) Can these two grammatical structures be used interchangeably?

a- I have been living in France for five years.

b- I have lived in France for five years.

**Is it right to assume verbs such as: live, work, study are the only type of verbs that can be mixed grammatically like the above sentences and still have the same meaning?

2) Why is Tom has flown over 300,000 miles during ten years acceptable, BUT Tom has been flying over 300,000 miles during ten years not acceptable?

3) Why is, I have been watching my neighbor dig a hole all day in Present Progressive, BUT I watched my neighbor dig a hole all day yesterday not in Past Progressive?
+1
The Present Perfect Progressive tense indicates an action that started in the past, continues to the present, and that is still happening at the present moment. It is used to stress the on-going, continual nature of the action, establishing a connection between the past and the present.

The Present Perfect Progressive is often, but not necessarily, used with a reference to the duration of the action. This reference is most commonly introduced with the following prepositional phrases: for + amount of time and since + point in time. Thus, the Present Perfect Progressive is usually used to answer “how long” questions with “for” and “since”.

The Present Perfect Progressive cannot be used with a specific point in time like today, yesterday, last week, etc. It only works with a period of time like for two weeks, since childhood, for ages, etc.

While the Present Perfect Progressive and the Present Perfect are interchangeable in some cases, the Present Perfect Progressive places emphasis on the duration of an action, and Present Perfect places emphasis on the result, completion of an action.
+0
1) I see no significant difference between your two sentences whether with live, work, or study. I would not assume anything with regard to English vocabulary and grammar!

2) To start with, I would say ... during the past ten years. The second version (with the progressive tense) mixes two incompatible ideas. has been flying indicates an activity (no specific time limits). over 300,000 miles indicates an accomplishment (with time limits). The phrase during ten years doesn't come into it. The sentence seems wrong even without it.

3) I'm not sure what the question is. ... have been watching ... is progressive (but not present progressive as you claim) because it has an -ing form. ... watched ... is not progressive (although it is past as you claim) because it does not have an -ing form.

CJ
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
1 2
Comments  
Yea I used to learn about this but somehow I forgot the difference. I think I have been living shows that the person has been living and will likely to live there for a future period while have lived shows that it is unlikely to live there for a long-term in the future. That's what I can remember though but not sure if its correct
Thanks Findlay.

However, can anybody answer #2 and #3?
3. Why is, I have been watching my neighbor dig a hole all day in Present Progressive, BUT I watched my neighbor dig a hole all day yesterday not in Past Progressive?

I have been watching my neighbor dig a hole all day is Present Progressive because it states the neighbor is talking about the present day and it is progressive because he is watching, meaning that it is currently happening.

Ex. if you say that you drove home from work then it can be assumed that you have already have gotten home. But if you say that you were driving home from work then that would mean you are currently doing that.

I watched is not progressive, progressive end in -ing.

therefore, the sentence isn't past progressive, but saying something like, I had been watching my neighbor dig a hole all day yesterday would be past progressive!

Hope this helps!
Try out our live chat room.
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
CalifJim1) I see no significant difference between your two sentences whether with live, work, or study. I would not assume anything with regard to English vocabulary and grammar!

CJ

Still, there could be a difference in the way the each speaker perceives each time period. The progressive often indicates a completable period, perceptively.
Matt09153. Why is, I have been watching my neighbor dig a hole all day in Present Progressive, BUT I watched my neighbor dig a hole all day yesterday not in Past Progressive?
I have been watching my neighbor dig a hole all day is Present Progressive because it states the neighbor is talking about the present day and it is progressive because he is watching, meaning that it is currently happening.

Ex. if you say that you drove home from work then it can be assumed that you have already have gotten home. But if you say that you were driving home from work then that would mean you are currently doing that.

I watched is not progressive, progressive end in -ing.

therefore, the sentence isn't past progressive, but saying something like, I had been watching my neighbor dig a hole all day yesterday would be past progressive!

Hope this helps!

Matt,

I certainly can appreciate the difficulty in recognizing when and what tenses, and voice to use within a given context. This is a common hurdle ESL students have to overcome. In your argument, you said “I had been watching my neighbor dig a hole all day yesterday would be past progressive!”. It’s somewhat true but not entirely. The key is “yesterday”. Had the statement been “I had been watching my neighbor building their own swimming pool for the past 6 months and finally they are swimming in it”, then “had been” is properly used.

In reference to the previous sentences: “I have been watching my neighbor dig a hole all day “ The context suggests that the day was not over. If this statement was made at at the dinner table with your family, it’s entirely correct. The logical explanation for the next sentence “I watched my neighbor dig a hole all day yesterday not in Past Progressive?” is that both acts of “watch” and “ dig” were completed yesterday. The key is how the context was constructed. You watched for as long as they digged and the actions were completed. so a simple past tense is also correctly used. Unfortunately, the grammar rules live within the context which makes explaning rather difficult.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
As Far as I am concerned and according to most grammar books I have read, there is little or no difference in meaning when since or for is used.

It would be a different story if I said something like: I have lived here vs I have been living here. In the first case, I may be living somewhere else now, but I can come back to live "here" again. In the second example I still live "here".
As Far as I am concerned and according to most grammar books I have read, there is little or no difference in meaning when since or for is used.

It would be a different story if I said something like: I have lived here vs I have been living here. In the first case, I may be living somewhere else now, but I can come back to live "here" again. In the second example I still live "here".

Charlie (Costa Rica)
Show more