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Okay, here's some confusion I'm having with tenses:

Suppose John invited a friend to play tennis.

John: Have you played tennis before?
Peter: No, this is the first time I'm playing / I've played tennis.

The grammar book cites the present perfect as the correct one. Although it says nothing about the present continuous, I don't feel anything wrong with it.

Same for this one:

Hae you always lived / been living in this town?

Please advise!
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You need these:

This is the first time I've played tennis.

Have you always lived in this town?

The other choices are not idiomatic.

<<Well, suppose that the game of tennis has yet not begun. In that case, it feels awkward for me to say that This is the first time I've played tennis, as the game is yet to begin, and we can't use present perfect, which generally stands for already completed actions.>>

It doesn't matter that the game has not yet begun. You still use the present perfect. Presumably the other person has already shown up at the tennis court to begin his first game, so he has already done something. Besides, in the mind of the speaker the first tennis game is as good as complete since he has such a firm intention to go through with his plans.

If the present perfect still bothers you, you might think of it as a substitute for the even more awkward future perfect:

This will be the first time I will have played tennis.

Language does not dissect reality as strictly as mathematics, so there is no need for you to feel awkward about the present perfect tense here. Emotion: smile

CJ
Comments  
Hi.
horizon981John: Have you played tennis before?
Peter: No, this is the first time I'm playing / I've played tennis.

The grammar book cites the present perfect as the correct one. Although it says nothing about the present continuous, I don't feel anything wrong with it.
Your book is fine. With the phrases "it's the first time, it's the second time,..." we usually use Present Perfect. Continious is wrong here.
horizon981Same for this one:

Have you always lived / been living in this town?
Yes, I have lived/been living here for the whole life.

Both tenses are correct here. In both the person is still living in this town.
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Well, suppose that the game of tennis has yet not begun. In that case, it feels awkward for me to say that This is the first time I've played tennis, as the game is yet to begin, and we can't use present perfect, which generally stands for already completed actions.

Help!
AnonymousWell, suppose that the game of tennis has yet not begun.

We have not been given the context yet, thus we don't know. Since given this is, it implies the action to have been completed.

This was the first time I had played tennis.

This will be first time I will play tennis.
The sentence implies the person is going to play it.
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
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FandorinThis will be first time I will play tennis.
Hi Jim. Does it sound good to you?
Fandorin
FandorinThis will be first time I will play tennis.
Hi Jim. Does it sound good to you?

No. Not at all. Emotion: smile

Besides the statement with ... first time I've ..., I'd probably say

( Guess what! ) I'm going to play tennis for the first time today.

CJ
Thank you. I got it. Emotion: nodding
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