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Past Perfect vs Past Perfect Continuous

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GMAT Club Legend
Joined: 07 Jul 2004
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Past Perfect vs Past Perfect Continuous [#permalink]

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06 Jan 2005, 18:56
Hi,

Just like to bring up something discussion. When do we use the past perfect and past perfect continuos. I looked up a grammar text in the local library and they have the smae explanation for both, that is:

- used when something happened in the past and still having an effect now

So in effect, I could use past perfect to make this statement:

He has lived in this this house since 1968.

or past perfect continuous to have the same effect as the above:

He has been living in this house since 1968.

So which one should we use ?

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Director
Joined: 19 Nov 2004
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06 Jan 2005, 20:56
I am no expert, but I will try ..

Past Perfect Simple:
- uses had + verb (v3, the Past Participle)

The action was finished before another action started at that point

We had hoped to visit Las vegas before we left America

Past Perfect Progressive (or continous)
- uses had + been + participle

To tell how long something continued before another action took place in the past
He had been running for five miles before he took a break.

Both sentences are right. The usage depends on what you want to say. If action was continuing, at the time the next action happened, use the Past Perfect Progressive.

The rule that I know about the use of Past Perfect tense (both simple and progressive) is:
When the main verb is in the Past Perfect tense, the verb in the dependent clause is usually in the past tense.
eg, The game had been won by the time I arrived at the stadium

The example you gave:
1) He has lived in this this house since 1968.
is actually Present Perfect Simple , (although it does sound like past because of the use of 'lived', but it is not)

-uses has/have + verb (v3)

Here the action was completed in the past, but is still relevant

2) He has been living in this house since 1968
is actually Present Perfect Progressive (or continous)

- uses have/has + been + participle

The action started in the past, continued over a span of time and is still going on.

Both sentences are correct. The usage depends on what you want to say. If action is continuing, and its continousness is relevant, use progressive.

As I said, I am no expert. Check out some Grammar Internet sites, you should be able to get some more details.

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Manager
Joined: 02 Mar 2017
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GMAT 1: 700 Q51 V34
Re: Past Perfect vs Past Perfect Continuous [#permalink]

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29 Jun 2017, 04:21
Need help in understanding one more point-
If the dependent clause or any other clause has Present perfect form of the verb- ( Have Verb+ed), will the main clause have the past perfect form??

Reason for asking is that the present perfect presents a time frame in which something happened in past and is still continuing. Ans some action happened in more past than the above mentioned action- so shouldn't it be in past perfect?

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Director
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Re: Past Perfect vs Past Perfect Continuous [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2017, 10:02
Hi pulkitaggi, of course present perfect + past perfect can be used together.
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Ashish (GMAT Faculty @ EducationAisle)
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Manager
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Re: Past Perfect vs Past Perfect Continuous [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2017, 10:36
Hi EducationAisle

Why I asked this question was because I came across a Question from Veritas, in which they used past perfect and present perfect together in an option and removed the option because of the use of 2 tenses together. I removed the sentence because of some other error. Can you check?
Question ( to avoid repeating a question- I am just copying the question stem)
The rare bird, considered extinct for over fifty years and actually thriving in a remote part of the Andes, has made a remarkable comeback over the past decade. ( problem in option B- though I removed that option because of the use IT- but in my opinion past perfect was used completely fine.)

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Director
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Re: Past Perfect vs Past Perfect Continuous [#permalink]

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01 Jul 2017, 10:03
There are official questions in which these two tenses have been used together.

Since I am not aware of this question in entirety, am unable to comment on this; however, it's always a good idea to focus on official questions only, for your preparation.
_________________

Thanks,
Ashish (GMAT Faculty @ EducationAisle)
http://www.EducationAisle.com

Sentence Correction Nirvana available at Amazon.in and Flipkart

Now! Preview the entire Grammar Section of Sentence Correction Nirvana at pothi.com

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Re: Past Perfect vs Past Perfect Continuous   [#permalink] 01 Jul 2017, 10:03
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