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Hi, Emotion: smile

This is the first time Hamas is running candidates for parliament. --- This is the first time two former WHA teams are meeting for the Stanley Cup. (two sentences from the UsaToday)

Why is the present continuous used in those sentences? What would be the difference if I wrote "has run" and "have met" in the above sentences?

Thank you in advance.
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are meeting
they might not have met at the time of the report, or might be close of doing it
gives one the feeling of participation to something still going on
According to Michael Swan, we use a simple present perfect tense in sentences like that.
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This is the first time it has happened. (Good)

?This is the first time this is happening. (Not sure I like it)
Hi, Emotion: smile

This is the first time Hamas is running candidates for parliament. --- This is the first time two former WHA teams are meeting for the Stanley Cup. (two sentences from the UsaToday)

Why is the present continuous used in those sentences? What would be the difference if I wrote "has run" and "have met" in the above sentences?

Hi Kooyeen

I'll reply your question with example sentences which I hope will be helpful.

My parents were taking us to the zoo. We were very happy because this was the first time they were taking us to the zoo.

My parents are taking us to the zoo. We are very happy because this is the first time they are taking us to the zoo.

Yesterday I went to market with my mother. This was the first time I had gone to market with her.

I am with my mother at the market. This is the first time I have gone to market with her.
Welkins2139According to Michael Swan, we use a simple present perfect tense in sentences like that.
Could you give some of Swan's examples?
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Yoong LiatI'll reply your question with example sentences which I hope will be helpful.

My parents were taking us to the zoo. We were very happy because this was the first time they were taking us to the zoo.

My parents are taking us to the zoo. We are very happy because this is the first time they are taking us to the zoo.

Yesterday I went to market with my mother. This was the first time I had gone to market with her.

I am with my mother at the market. This is the first time I have gone to market with her.

The 2nd (and even the 1st, but to a lesser extent) are appropriate examples here, but I don't get the reason for the presence of the last two (they aren't continuous present tense).
This is the first time Hamas is running candidates for parliament. --- This is the first time two former WHA teams are meeting for the Stanley Cup. (two sentences from the UsaToday)

Why is the present continuous used in those sentences?

There are several reasons

1. it is a shorter version of the present continuous of go, is going to, used for the near future because we speak about a very close future that has started or is just about to, or the decision has been made to be so

  • is running = is going to run
  • are meeting = are going to meet


  • 2. with is running, are meeting you get that feeling of excitement that is essential for the fresh news

    3. the elections and the basketball game are not short events, they have certain important duration in which something is happening, so this usage is a preparation for more news about the event, it is like saying stay tuned - we are there

    4. because the elections and game have the final score win-lose, result etc. with the present continuous you stress that you are speaking only about the event not the result, at the same time you point that the result may come as another news (this is a clear example of the usage of contrast)

    5. though this is the first time with is running, are meeting you display as well the expectation about a (hopefully not less exciting) repetition of the same event in the future

    All these usages and explanations are within the realm of style.

    What would be the difference if I wrote "has run" and "have met" in the above sentences?

    You would lose excitement, you would point more that you are interested about the result, you wouldn't say that the event has some duration, you would create no a room for more news... Well, your news would sound pretty dull.Emotion: smile
Yoong Liat
My parents were taking us to the zoo. We were very happy because this was the first time they were taking us to the zoo. that was the first time they had taken us to the zoo

My parents are taking us to the zoo. We are very happy because this is the first time they are taking us to the zoo. this is the first time they have taken us to the zoo

Yesterday I went to market with my mother. This was the first time I had gone to market with her.

I am with my mother at the market. This is the first time I have gone to market with her.

I was told to use the present or past perfect in those situations, but I often find the present continuous (even in newspapers).

Kim O'Donnel: This is the first time I'm hearing a negative report. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2005/08/26/DI2005082600661.html

So when can I use the present continuous? Now I'm writing this post, the second post on this thread. I don't know if I can say "this is the second post I'm writing in this thread," it should be "the second post I've written,"even though I'm still writing it. But I'm not sure... Emotion: tongue tied
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