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# Present Perfect Confusion

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Manager
Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 123

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19 Mar 2012, 12:12
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Hi All

I have this confusion regarding use of been in present perfect

MGMAT says as example of present perfect

We have lived in a hut for three days

Is this also present perfect

We have been living in a hut for three days

since this also shows that action started in past but has been continuing into the present.

Thanks

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Manager
Joined: 07 Dec 2011
Posts: 151

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Location: India

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19 Mar 2012, 13:40
"We have lived in a hut for 3 days." is present perfect. "We have been living in a hut for three days" is present perfect progressive in my opinion.
The difference between these 2 is that in the first case the effect of having lived in a hut i.e. "the experience" continues into the present whereas in the second case it is the action itself i.e. " the living in a hut" that is continuing into the present time.

Hope that helps.

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Manager
Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 123

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19 Mar 2012, 14:11
Thanks,

How often is present perfect continuous tested in GMAT, I more often see questions related to present perfect.? What do you think?

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SVP
Joined: 14 Apr 2009
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Location: New York, NY

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19 Mar 2012, 14:15
So the difference here is in meaning.

EXAMPLE #1:"We have lived in a hut for 3 days"
MEANING: Some time in the past, we lived in the hut for 3 days. It could have been 10 yrs ago, this past year, or 3 days ago. There's no specified time. All we know is it happened in the past at some point.

EXAMPLE #2: "We have been living in a hut for 3 days"

MEANING: This means that starting from 3 days ago, we have been living in the hut and that continues to the present day. So this example, is a lot more specific about the time period we talk about - extending into the present.

Both can work - just slightly different meanings.

Check out our SC Pill for more complex grammar stuff broken down into really easy-to-understand frameworks!

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Manager
Joined: 12 Oct 2011
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GMAT 1: 700 Q48 V37
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19 Mar 2012, 15:50
I think the important difference between the two tenses is that present perfect describes actions which are already completed and do not continue in the past, while the progressive form is used for actions which started in the past, but are continuing in the present.

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Re: Present Perfect Confusion   [#permalink] 19 Mar 2012, 15:50
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