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# Help:Tenses concept

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Manager
Joined: 04 Nov 2012
Posts: 61

Kudos [?]: 117 [0], given: 39

Schools: NTU '16 (A)

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07 Apr 2013, 11:36
What is the difference in meaning between present continuous and present perfect? For example:

We have lived in this house for 10 years-meaning we have just completed 10 years in this house.(still living ????)
We have been living in this house for the last 10 years??? -what would this mean compared to the above.
We lived in this house for 10 years- simple past indicating that we no more live in this house.

I have been through the tenses file in egmat concept and will appreciate some more clarity on this concept.

Thanks..

Kudos [?]: 117 [0], given: 39

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Intern
Joined: 17 Jun 2007
Posts: 21

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 4

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07 Apr 2013, 12:55
12bhang wrote:
What is the difference in meaning between present continuous and present perfect? For example:

We have lived in this house for 10 years-meaning we have just completed 10 years in this house.(still living ????)
We have been living in this house for the last 10 years??? -what would this mean compared to the above.
We lived in this house for 10 years- simple past indicating that we no more live in this house.

I have been through the tenses file in egmat concept and will appreciate some more clarity on this concept.

Thanks..

Here are my 2 cents

Sentence 1: Present Perfect sentence. It means we have lived in this house for 10 years (as of today) & now we stopped living there (today). So, the action of living in this house is completed recently & it's not mentioned how recently.

Sentence 2: Present perfect continuous. Action happened in the past & still continues.
Today the family completed 10 years in this house & they are still continuing.

Sentence 3: Simple Past. Some time back in the past the family lived in that house.

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 4

e-GMAT Representative
Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 2355

Kudos [?]: 9288 [1], given: 341

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09 Apr 2013, 20:18
1
KUDOS
Expert's post
Quote:
What is the difference in meaning between present continuous and present perfect? For example:

We have lived in this house for 10 years-meaning we have just completed 10 years in this house.(still living ????)
We have been living in this house for the last 10 years??? -what would this mean compared to the above.
We lived in this house for 10 years- simple past indicating that we no more live in this house.

@12bhang, good question.
In principle, present perfect tense presents the following two actions:
1: Actions that started sometime in the past and still continue in the present
2: Actions that started sometime in the past, ended in the past, but whose effect still continue in the present.

On similar lines, present perfect continuous tense emphasizes on the continuous nature of the actions that are presented by the present perfect tense. Since they present continuous nature of the actions, they present continuous nature of the actions that started sometime in the past and still continue in the present (so case number 1 above).

Let's see that with a set of examples:

1A: Mary has done her assignment - This sentence implies that the assignment is completed (so case 2)
1B: Mary has been doing her assignment - This sentence implies that Mary started her assignment sometime in the past and she is still working on it. So if we see Mary right now, we will see her working on her assignment. (so continuous aspect of case 1)

2A: Mary has lived in her ancestral house. - This sentence implies that Mary lived in this house in the past and she is still living in this house right now. (so case 1)
2B: Mary has been living in her ancestral house. - This sentence also implies the same meaning as 2A (so continuous aspect of case 1)

So in the second set of examples (2A- 2B), the two tenses communicate same meaning.

Thus, the present perfect continuous tense simply emphasizes or communicates the continuous nature of the action presented by present perfect tense as we saw in examples 1A-1B. Now, the meaning communicated by these two verb tenses may be same in certain cases. It really depends on the nature of the verb as we saw in examples 2A-2B.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Payal
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Kudos [?]: 9288 [1], given: 341

Re: Help:Tenses concept   [#permalink] 09 Apr 2013, 20:18
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# Help:Tenses concept

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