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Hi.

[1] I have been studying Italian since I was ten years old.

[2] It's been raining.

With [1] you started studying Italian when you were ten, and you are still studying it. But with [2] I'm not too sure. It sounds as though either it has let up, or as though the rain is slacking off and almost stopping. It is certainly not raining steadily any more. Am I along with the native speakers of English in how you feel the senses of the sentences? What do you think makes the action still in motion with some sentence, and not in motion any more with the others?

Hiro

Sendai, Japan
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Comments  (Page 2) 
Contiomous is used because you want to emphasize the duration: «It's been raining all the morning. The dirt road must have become a river of slush, we won't drive along it until it gets dried up.»

Actually, I don't like your explanation through active and passive attributes. I don't know why you need this classification. Maybe it's correct, by I don't like it.
Ant_222 ...your explanation through active and passive attributes. I don't know why you need this classification. Maybe it's correct, but I don't like it.
Hi, Ant_222.

It is not "active and passive attributes," but "active and static attributes." Perhaps I should have used the words "dynamic" instead of "active," and "stative" instead of "static." (I'm not a grammarian! I'm a cosmetic and food chemist, and interpreter. :-)) I looked at the present perfect continuous because the generic present perfect could be understood easily if you look at it through the verb's dynamic or statitive attribute.

Take this with a dynamic verb for example:

[1] Pete and we have signed the contract that states we hire him from April this year to March next year. We can't cancel it and hire another for his job. There is no article that allows us to cancel it before April.

[2] Pete and we signed the contract that stated we would hire him from April this year to March next year, but we have cancelled the contract, and now we are hiring another soon.

In [1] Pete and 'we' came to an agreement that 'we' are going to hire him, and the agreement is still valid. You can 'feel' it from 'have signed.' Here a supportive context is provided. However, in [2] the simple past gives you an impression that the speaker is not in the same time frame any more. The agreement could still be good, it could not any more.

With the present perfect the present is affected.

Now, with a stative verb ...

[3] This vast land has belonged to a local tribe. They use it mostly for growing their own food sources.

[4] This vast land belonged to a local tribe, but you now see a motorway running through it, and highrises springing up.

In [3] the land is still theirs, and [4] connotes the land is not theirs any more.

Here with the present perfect the present is directly affected. The word "affected" may not be too appropriate, but the land still belongs to them --- same environment.

Both dynamic verbs and stative verbs in the present perfect give you an impression that the present is still affected, or connected.

I've tried to look at the present perfect continuous in the same fashion, thiking the word 'raining' has both the dynamic attribute --- (of rain) to fall --- and the statitive attribute --- -ing (state of continuing), thus, either raining done but the present affected, or still raining (and, yes, the present affected).

Hiro

Sendai, Japan
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I just want to make sure the following statement stands.

[1] Joan has been very sick but she is miraculously healthy now.

I just wanted to verify if, even with a stative verb in a present perfect sentence, its continuity depends on the context.

Therefore, to be more precise, maybe I should amend what I said in my last posting:

"I've tried to look at the present perfect continuous in the same fashion, thiking the word 'raining' has both the dynamic attribute --- (of rain) to fall --- and the statitive attribute --- -ing (state of continuing), thus, either (dynamic attribute) raining done but the present affected, or (stative attribute) raining still going on and, yes, the present affected, or (stative attribute) raining done and the present is connected to the length during which the rain fell.

Hiro

Sendai, Japan
I think that about covers it, Hiro.
Thanks, Mister Micawber, for your confirmative statement.

I was short of words.


I looked at the present perfect continuous through the verb-ing's dynamic or stative attribute because the generic present perfect could be understood easily if you look at it through the verb's dynamic or statitive attribute.
Gotta go. Thanks, folks.

Hiro

Sendai, Japan
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Ok, HSS.

I have got your point now. Actions can affect present in two ways:
1. The action is finished, but the result remains.
2. The action is not finished.

Number one can occur for both statitive and dynamic varbs, whereas number two only for dynamic verbs.
Good you got the point, Ant_222.

You need a little correction to what you wrote. #2 is only for stative verbs.

2. The state is not finished.

Look at [3] in my third last:

[3] This vast land has belonged to a local tribe. They use it mostly for growing their own food sources.

The land is still in the state of being owned by the tribe, and the state is giving them a chance to grow food sources.

To make it easier to grab, it's better to look in terms of dynamic/stative verbs than in terms of whether the action/state is finished or not, but it's just how you look at the same puzzle from a different angle.

Hiro

Sendai, Japan
Thanks, Hiro. I just made a typo about number 2.
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