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questions about "perfect progressive tenses"

 
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eagleflych



Joined: 24 Oct 2007
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:27 pm    Post subject: questions about "perfect progressive tenses" Reply with quote

I have seen some sentences that include "perfect progressive tenses" and I am absolutely puzzled.

Please help me.

In advance thank you for your replies.


Part one:

I saw the sentence below in an English book:

"Since that unfortunate accident last week, I haven't been sleeping at all well."

According to the grammar of English, the "haven't been sleeping" in the sentence is "present perfect progressive tense".

I guess that there are two explanations for the "I haven't been sleeping at all well" in the sentence:


The first explanation:

The situation of the sleeping well is not at ANY time points in the period from the time of "unfortunate accident" to the time of speaking.

It means that SURELY the whole period from the time of "unfortunate accident" to the time of speaking is the time of the "NOT to sleep well".

The second explanation:

In the period from the time of "unfortunate accident" to the time of speaking, the time points at which the situation of the sleeping well is are not ALL.

It means that MAYBE the whole period from the time of "unfortunate accident" to the time of speaking is the time of the "NOT to sleep well".


Which one of the two explanations above is right?



Part two:

I saw the sentence below in another English book:

"I had not been reading for half an hour when I heard steps outside."

According to the grammar of English, the "had not been reading" in the sentence is "past perfect progressive tense".

I guess that there are two explanations for the "I had not been reading for half an hour" in the sentence.


The first explanation:

The action of the reading is not at ANY time points in the period from a past time to the past time of the "heard steps outside". (The period is the half hour)

It means that SURELY the whole period from a past time to the past time of the "heard steps outside" is the time of the "NOT to read".


The second explanation:

In the period from a past time to the past time of the "heard steps outside", the time points at which the action of the reading is are not ALL.

It means that MAYBE the whole period from a past time to the past time of the "heard steps outside" is the time of the "NOT to read".


Which one of the two explanations above is right?
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Lorikeet



Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Posts: 1579
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a little trouble understanding the question, but I will say that the present perfect progressive tense works the same way as the present perfect tense when you mention the point of time at which something started, and is continuing to the present.

"I have been living here since I was 13." (I moved here when I was 13, and I have been living here since then. There is no "maybe" involved.)

"Since that unfortunate accident last week, I haven't been sleeping at all well." (An accident occurred last week, and from that time to now, I haven't been sleeping well. There is no "maybe" involved.)

And using your example of the past perfect progressive..

"I had not been reading for half an hour when I heard steps outside." (I was reading, and then I stopped. A half hour after I stopped, I heard steps outside. There is no "maybe" involved.)
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