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Autor:  michael rob
E-mail:  getget@australia.edu
Data:  01/JUN/2003 12:46 AM
Assunto:  Re: Present perfect x present progressive
Mensagem:  If we start with “I study” we have a general statement completely unmodified

There are two aspects with which the English verb can be modified – the two aspects convey speaker’s impression about the temporal features of the verb – these two aspects have the same effect upon the verb in all cases

By using an aspect the speaker is conveying temporal information in a more specific way – thus modifying the base form go/walk/talk/learn etc

The ing form adds a sense of duration for a limited period

And the perfect aspect adds a sense of anteriority/looking back – and so is used to update/announce (and may have a sense of completeness)

You can add either (A B) or both (C):

A I am studying
B I have studied
C I have been studying

A adds a sense of duration for a limited period (on-going activity)

B using the perfect aspect has a sense of result or update – any info about an activity being completed or not comes from the context not the perfect aspect – eg “how do you know that?” “because I have studied it.” (nothing is said about whether the studies have been completed – we only know that that point has been covered)

Statement C using both aspects focuses on the duration of the activity – no surprise this verb structure is often used with adverbials such as “for three weeks” “since last century” etc

The differences are subtle but consistent

In my experience the perfect aspect causes most difficulty for learners of English

Use of perfect for updates:

An announcement on the tv news will often start with perfect aspect then continue in ‘past’ remote form once the update has taken place (the new information has been conveyed to the viewer)

“There has been an earthquake in Morocco. The quake occurred at X o’clock yesterday morning…and so on

hope this helps

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 English Made in Brazil -- English, Portuguese, & contrastive linguistics
Present perfect x present progressive  –  Daniela  31/MAI/2003, 5:59 PM
Re: Present perfect x present progressive  –  Ricardo - EMB -  31/MAI/2003, 6:16 PM
 Re: Present perfect x present progressive  –  michael rob  01/JUN/2003, 12:46 AM

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