Hi teachers,

Would you tell me if this is a fine definition?

The present perfect continuous tense is often used (with for or since) to talk about unfinished actions that started in the past and are continuing now.

Thanks in advance
1 2
Hi,

"The present perfect continuous tense is often used (with for or since) to talk about unfinished actions that started in the past and are continuing now" or have only just finished.
Thinking SpainWould you tell me if this is a fine definition?
... if it's a good definition. ... if it's an acceptable definition. (fine is generally used only in assertions, not questions or negatives.)

The only things I'd change are to drop 'unfinished' and to change 'action' to 'situation'. If it's continuing now, it's unfinished by definition, so it seems odd to my ear to say the same thing twice. Using 'situation' will include non-actions like He's been wanting a bicycle for months; The roses have been looking shabby since June.Emotion: smile

Truth be told, it's not really a definition. It's comment about usage.

CJ
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I'm not a teacher, but I think it's a perfect definition
Hi Anonymous,

Thank you for your reply.
... if it's a good definition. ... if it's an acceptable definition. (fine is generally used only in assertions, not questions or negatives.)

Thank you for the explanation. I didn't know this one.

The only things I'd change are to drop 'unfinished' and to change 'action' to 'situation'. If it's continuing now, it's unfinished by definition, so it seems odd to my ear to say the same thing twice.

You are absolutely right. It is quite redundant to say 'unfinished' in the 'comment about usage'. I thought 'unfinished' will really help to understand that the situation continues. But as you've said, ' If it's continuing now, it's infinished by definition'.

Using 'situation' will include non-actions like He's been wanting a bicycle for months; The roses have been looking shabby since June.

Uphs! As soon as I've read your reply I thought has stricken me. I though that, 'how long + present perfect' was used only with non-action verbs, while 'how long + present perfect continuous' was used for action verbs.

Then, could it be acceptable to say, 'how long + present perfect' only with non-action verbs?

By the way I didn't know that when you use 'situation' you include non-action and action verbs. Some books when they talk about usage for tenses they say, '... talks about actions or situations ...'

Truth be told, it's not really a definition. It's comment about usage.

Thank you. I didn't know this one either.

I've learnt a lot with your replies. Thank you so much.Emotion: nodding

TS
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Hi Emre25,

Thank you, but as you can see it's not a perfect definition. Read what CalifJim has written and you will increase your knowledge. Emotion: smile
CalifJim Using 'situation' will include non-actions
Wow! I really didn't know about it.

So for the comments about the uses of the present perfect, I should change 'actions or situations' to only 'situations', shouldn't I? Emotion: thinking

For example:

The present perfect can express actions or situation situations that have happened at an idefinite time in the past.

I'm saying it just because with the present perfect action and non-actions verbs are used.

TS
Thinking SpainI should change 'actions or situations' to only 'situations', shouldn't I?
It's your choice. I only mentioned it because the author of a grammar book I once read wrote that he would purposely use the word 'situation' throughout his book so he wouldn't have to write 'action, activity, event, or state' everytime he spoke about verbs and what they express. I have taken his procedure as my own, and I do think it saves a lot of typing! There are times, however, where you have to distinguish between actions, states, and so on, as when you are speaking of the properties of a particular verb.

CJ
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