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dying tense?

Posted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 9:44 am
by iain
Is the present perfect continuous on the way out? Its use with 'for' or 'since' is one of those things that teachers seem to love to drill into students heads in the same sort of way that circus acts get dogs to jump through flaming hoops. Tests invariably include present perfect continuous with 'for' and 'since' too.
I think it gets so much emphasis because it's something that proves so hard for learners to master and I suspect one reason for this may be that it doesn't match most learners' intuition about language. Can anyone tell me if there is another language which does not use a simple present tense in this case?
On trips to the south of Ireland in recent years (I visit Ireland more often than the UK) I have heard occasional examples of the present continuous being used by native speakers rather than the present perfect continuous in sentences like: "They're going out together for a couple of months now," or "she's waiting to hear from them for ages." Is this an established regional form or is it an early crack in an unneeded structure that is destined to spread?

Posted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:41 pm
by Lorikeet
Sigh, as an old lady, I guess it just makes me wince. I haven't ever heard that particular change, and I hope I never do. ;)

Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:10 pm
by lolwhites
I've heard of the Past Simple displacing the Present Perfect in American English, but I can't say I've heard of the phenomenon you describe in Ireland. I don't know Irish, but wonder if it could be some influence from the indigenous language.

Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:45 am
by lolwhites
If the Present Perfect ever did die, this sort of thing would be impossible: