present perfect continuous? I have <studied/ been studying> English for 3 years

Discussion in 'English Only' started by ggonak4001, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. ggonak4001 Junior Member

    South Korea
    Korean
    1. I have studied English for 3 years

    2. I have been studying English for 3 years

    I want to know what kind of different nuances are in these sentences?


    It look like combination of (have studied + be studying) = have been studying

    but I know that (have studied) has nuance of (past+presence), and also (be studying) has present nuance.

    so I think no.2 sentence has more present nuance than no.1....
     
  2. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
  3. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    The nuances are very subtle:

    1. "I have studied English for 3 years, and I can tell you that you are wrong!" Here the speaker is relying upon the fact that at the point of speech he has a record of 'a unit of 3 years' study; his studies might or might not have finished but this is not important. = metaphorically, "I have a cannon with a big cannonball."

    2. I have been studying English for 3 years and I can tell you that you are wrong!" Here the speaker is relying upon the fact that at the point of speech he has a record of 'being involved in study' for a period of 3 years, He is immersed in study, and his studies continue. = metaphorically, "I am driving a huge train and it is approaching you at 100kph."
     
  4. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
  5. coolieinblue Senior Member

    Seoul,Korea
    Korean
    Hello, ggonak
    1. This sounds like a reply/reponse.
    2. You are suggesting/trying to achieve more than what can be done by saying the above.
     

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