Text - Present perfect vs. present perfect continuous, past simple vs. present perfect...

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by HyphenSpeedy, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. HyphenSpeedy Banned

    Spanish - Spain
    Hi people!

    I was practising verb tenses when I came across this quite difficult text in which I had to fill in the gaps. My answers were the ones in black, whereas the ones in red were the 'correct' ones:

    Everybody thinks that someone as good-looking and wealthy as Sylvester Stallone 1. must have always had (has always had) (always / have) an easy life, but that isn't true. Sylvester Stallone 2. didn't have (hasn't had) (not have) an easy childhood. His parents 3. divorced (divorce) when he was very young and he 4. spent (spend) most of his childhood moving from home to home. In fact, Stallone 5. went (has gone) (go) to fourteen schools in eleven years!

    Stallone's luck changed when he 6. made (make) the film Rocky in 1976. Since that time, he 7. has acted? / has been acting (act) in many films. He 8. has also written (has also been writing) (also / write) many popular screenplays. Although Stallone is very successful, he 9. has been trying (try) to change his image for the past few years. "I 10. have been playing (play) the part of the tough guy for too long," he said. "It's time for a change."

    I don't agree with the person who prepared this exercise :confused: Which ones of the answers I gave do you think are wrong?

  2. fanomezana New Member

    English, England

    only number 7 is questionable, it's has acted as you rightly put, since he acted in one film at a time and in the past. has been acting implies that he is still acting in the same films at the moment.
    the answers in red are completely wrong since the text is explaining an event in the past which is not ongoing.
  3. unicito Senior Member

    Present perfect usage for this sentence:
    The present perfect simple tense is used to talk about a past time, which has very strong meaning for the present. Something that has happened in The childhood of someone.

    You can also use the present perfect to discuss something from the past but you don't want to say exactly when. In eleven years.

    Past simple usage in this sentence:
    It can be used to describe events that happened over a period of time in the past but not now.
  4. HyphenSpeedy Banned

    Spanish - Spain
    Good! I'd put has acted, but in the end my teacher had convinced me that has been acting was right as well.

    I don't understand what you mean. In any case, I don't think that sentence is right with the present perfect...:

    I suppose that would imply that Stallone is still studying and might change school again, don't you think?

  5. Granny Grammar Senior Member

    English US
    I can see it both ways. First, the speaker must decide whether to approach Stallone's life as an ongoing process or (red answers) or as a process being completed in the present moment (black answers.) It would be an easier decision if Stallone had died--hehehe!

    I teach composition, and I would not fault a writer for using either method, as long as the answers were consistent. It seems a bit arrogant of your teacher to mark your answers as incorrect, but that's just my opinion. While I'm pretty good at my work, there are others on this board who have studied longer and harder than I. They may have a different viewpoint, and if so, I hope they will respond.
  6. HyphenSpeedy Banned

    Spanish - Spain
    But, for example, how would you explain this bit?:

    Sylvester Stallone hasn't had an easy childhood. His parents divorced when he was very young and he spent most of his childhood moving from home to home. In fact, Stallone has gone to fourteen schools in eleven years!

    If you read the first sentence, it seems to say that Sylvester Stallone is still living his childhood. And then you keep on reading and it says:

    That doesn't make much sense, since in the other line I had said that he was still living his childhood, and now it looks like it's over :confused:.

    And then again, it goes:

    So we're back to his childhood? :confused:

    And, in any case, we all know Sylvester Stallone is not a child, right? So the text above doesn't make any sense :confused:... What do you think??
  7. Granny Grammar Senior Member

    English US
    Hyphen-speedy, you are exactly right! At age 24, my dear, you know more than most American college students do about the English language. You should be writing the textbook, not reading it! Excellent work.

    Just curious--in what year was the text published? It was obviously post-Rocky, but could it be early enough to justify the answers given in the text?
  8. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I agree with you, too, Hyphen-speedy, in every case!

    You might want to show our comments to the person who corrected the exercise. If you do, good luck!

  9. mazbook

    mazbook Senior Member

    Mazatlán, Sinaloa, México
    United States/México, English
    Hola HyphenSpeedy,

    I agree with your answers in EVERY case. Your teacher is a VERY poor student of English grammar! Even the one with the red question mark—has acted is definitely the correct usage in this case.

    Saludos desde Mazatlán
  10. HyphenSpeedy Banned

    Spanish - Spain
    Great! Thanks everyone for your replies!

    It was published in 2002, so I don't think so...

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