EN: present perfect / present perfect continuous/progressive

liligiulia

Member
France
Moderator note: multiple threads merged to create this one.

Hello !

I don't understand the difference between :

"I have been here for 1 week"
"I have been living here for 1 week"

Quels sont les différences d'emplois du present perfect et du present perfect continu ?

Je suis en Angleterre et dois souvent me présenter, ça m'aiderais beaucoup de comprendre la nuance !! ;)
merci
 
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  • donques

    Senior Member
    English England
    Both are present perfect continuous. The first sentence contains an ellipsis:
    "I have been (living) here for one week." The action is ongoing.
    If somebody asked you if you had lived here before, you could reply:
    "I have been here five times before"
    This is a use of the present perfect. You are not specifying when those events took place, but they are finished in reference to now.
    If somebody asked you when exactly you where here before, you would have to answer in the simple past;
    "I was here last week"
     

    volando98

    Member
    United States, Spanish & English
    Sorry, I made a mistake earlier: If you have moved to England and are now living there (et vous ne retournerais pas a la France) je dirais "I have been living here for (temps)"

    Mais, if you will return to France and are visiting, je dirais "I have been here for 1 week"
     

    ChiMike

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    It strikes me that your question should be:
    What is the difference between:
    "I have lived here for a week."
    and
    "I have been living here for a week."

    The sentence: "I have been here for a week" is merely the present perfect tense of "to be" and expresses the place where your state of being has taken place and, like all such uses of the present perfect tense in English, continues up to the present:
    I am here;
    I was here two weeks ago (and I have returned);
    I have been here for one week, and I am still here (or: and I will be here for another week). It is, of course, the equivalent of "Je suis ici depuis une semaine, while the other is one equivalent of "Je vis ici depuis une semaine.")
    It is not an ellipsis, any more that: "Here I am" is an ellipsis. Other words might be added, but that does not make the simple present perfect of "to be" an ellipsis. (I have been waiting here for... I have been stuck here for...; I have been being browbeaten here for 10 hours..., etc.) As you can see, any number of further explanations of one's situation, including those in the present perfect passive and the present perfect progressive passive could be added by making "I have been" some kind of ellipsis.

    As for the difference between "I have lived here for a week" and "I have been living here for a week", the only difference is the emphasis which the speaker wishes to put on the durative nature of the stay and may frequently also depend on what precedes or follows and on certain adverbial description of time - which might indicate that a durative tense would be better (e.g., for the entire period + continuous (progressive) tense).

    "I have lived here for a week, but I have seen almost nothing."
    "I have been living here for a week, but I haven't been going out much."

    The first sentence is a quick, staccato statement of facts, probably in response to questions in the present perfect: "How long have you lived here and what have you seen?"

    In the second sentence the speaker is emphasizing the duration of the time and what she has been doing with it. The tense reflects an ongoing preoccupation with the passage of time. It would probably be a response to a question in the present perfect continuous (progressive): "How long have you been living here and what have you been doing?" Such a question is asking for an accounting of everything that has been happened.

    As far as I know, there is no rule about which tense to use in this context, except that, in answering questions, it is usual to use the tense used by the person who asked the question. The difference is largely one of tone:

    "I have lived here a week, and it has rained every day." (a brief statement of the facts; and probably a summary complaint)
    I have been living here for a week, and it has been raining the whole time." (definitely, a long drawn-out whining complaint.)
     

    donques

    Senior Member
    English England
    "I have been here for a week " is not the present perfect. The person is obviously still here to say that. 'Been' is obviously an auxiliary, the action verb is ommitted.
     

    ChiMike

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Do you think this is also true in the sentence:

    I have been sick for a week

    where the "action" verbs "lying" or "feeling" could also be supplied?

    As for the use of the present perfect to bring a continuous state up to the present, see:
    ENGLISH PAGE - Present Perfect
    USE 2 Duration From the Past Until Now (Non-Continuous Verbs)

    presentperfectcontinuous.gif

    With Non-Continuous Verbs and non-continuous uses of Mixed Verbs, we use the Present Perfect to show that something started in the past and has continued up until now. "For five minutes," "for two weeks," and "since Tuesday" are all durations which can be used with the Present Perfect.
    Examples:
    • I have had a cold for two weeks.
    • She has been in England for six months.
    • Mary has loved chocolate since she was a little girl.
    Although the above use of Present Perfect is normally limited to Non-Continuous Verbs and non-continuous uses of Mixed Verbs, the words "live," "work," "teach," and "study" are sometimes used in this way even though they are NOT Non-Continuous Verbs.

    "to be" is, of course, a non-continuous verb.
     

    Moon Palace

    Senior Member
    French
    "I have been here for a week " is not the present perfect. The person is obviously still here to say that. 'Been' is obviously an auxiliary, the action verb is ommitted.

    I beg to disagree here, since this is clearly not what we are taught at university, and I can't see why 'be' would suddenly be reduced to the mere status of an auxiliary.
    Thanks Chimike for explanations that do match what linguists put forward about the present perfect. :thumbsup:
     

    ChiMike

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Thanks, MP.

    And, of course, in the U.S. the durative nature of the state of being can be emphasized with certain adjectives by use the present perfect progressive (continuous) of "to be" itself:

    Have you been being good lately?

    But the usage is mostly jocular.
     
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    donques

    Senior Member
    English England
    'To be' is a copula, as such normally stative. "you are silly"

    However it has a dynamic aspect if you say: "you are being silly"

    " You have been silly for a couple of days" present perfect continuous.

    "You have been acting silly for a couple of days" ' have been' used as auxiliary with the verb 'acting'.

    " You have been (acting silly) for a couple of days": ellipsis has occured, 'have been' is still present in the sentence, nothing stative, nothing to with the nature of existence!

    If you read liligiulia's question, she wants to know how to introduce herself, so she wants to know if both replies have the same meaning when she has presumably been asked " How long have you been (living) here?"
    Both answer and question take for granted that she has been here for some time and that she is still here. Present perfect continuous.

    If she was asked "Have you been here before" it would be present perfect.

    I have seen the page you quoted, I suggest you read it again.
     

    Moon Palace

    Senior Member
    French
    I am sorry, but I still don't see why 'be' could not exist as a verb of its own.
    'I have been here for one week' sounds perfectly correct to me, and it may even mean 'I don't live here usually, this is not my home town' as is often the case when you live in England for a year, but return to your town at the end of the year.
    'I have been living here' can also be said, yet it would imply something different, like 'I have grown accustomed to the place, I can handle directions pretty well' or the contrary 'I am quite new, and if you could help me out, I would appreciate'.
    I agree with Chimike, and this is what I learnt at university and what is still in linguistic books: the be and ing form of the present perfect either insists on a duration of something, or on the comment that the locutor wishes to add.
     

    donques

    Senior Member
    English England
    Yes to be can mean to exist as in "Before Abraham was, I am"
    "To be or not to be"

    It's main use is copular or transparent expressing a state, linking subject with complement:
    "You are silly"; not meaning you exist as a quality of silliness, but that you are always in a silly state.

    If you are being silly it means you are doing something foolish therefore something dynamic is occurring.
    So if you told someone " I have been (silly) for a week" You are expressing that this activity of silly behaviour has been going on for a week, and it is understood that it is still going on. Therefore present perfect continuous. "Have been" is an auxiliary use of the verb to be.

    If the silliness has stopped you would say " I was silly last week"

    Please look at the original question again, someone wants to know if either of those statements can be used in casual conversation. In that they are both uses of the present perfect continuous, when she wants to convey that she has been dynamically present for a week, and is still now present she can use both phrases, without causing confusion to the English speakers she meets.
     

    ChiMike

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    'To be' is a copula, as such normally stative. "you are silly"

    " You have been silly for a couple of days" present perfect continuous.

    "I have seen the page you quoted, I suggest you read it again.

    No, sorry:

    You have been silly for a couple of days: PRESENT PERFECT
    You have been being silly for a couple of days: PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS

    Your analysis eliminates the actual present perfect continuous of the verb "to be": "have been being", "has been being". Many people do not like to use it (and it is a bit heavy), but it does exist as its own form and not as a mere auxiliary of the present perfect continuous passive.

    As for the French inquirer's question, your answer makes it seem that there is no English equivalent of:
    "Je suis ici depuis une semaine"
    You make it seem that this statement is, in English, always an ellipsis for:
    "Je vis ici depuis une semaine." ("I have been living" OR "I have lived", since French has no regularly conjugated progressive tenses this distinction is not ordinarily made in French, as you know).
    Moreover, in saying this, you elimate a distinction which is important in French (être ici, vivre ici, habiter ici) but not so important in English where "live" can be used to cover all of those possibilities, although the distinction can be made (I have been staying here for a week; I have been living here for a week; I have been residing here for a week).


    What needs to be said is that, like most non-continuous verbs, "to be" poses difficulties in the use of progressive (continuous) tenses. Thus, "I am here" is the only form in the present tense for that expression. "I am being here" (present continuous) is formed correctly from a grammatical point of view, but it is not used. The "copula" as you say, indicates both static AND dynamic action.

    The same is true in the present perfect: "I have been here for...." I have been here since..." are the only forms and they indicate, in themselves, that the action which began in the past continues into the present. "I have been being here for (since)..." is not used, because of the continuous to present nature of "have been" with adverbials of time and place. As shown, the present perfect continuous of "to be" can be used with some adjectives to emphasize the durative (continuous) nature of the state of being. The usage is rare, but it does exist, as you could verify by following the link above to "Continuous Verbs."
     

    ChiMike

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    If the silliness has stopped you would say " I was silly last week"

    Please look at the original question again, someone wants to know if either of those statements can be used in casual conversation. In that they are both uses of the present perfect continuous, when she wants to convey that she has been dynamically present for a week, and is still now present she can use both phrases, without causing confusion to the English speakers she meets.

    OR: I was being silly last week...the simple past continuous...

    As I pointed out above, the English use of "to live" in these contexts is broader than the French so the answer to the question originally posed is that "I have been here in England for a week" is, functionally for most English speakers, the equivalent of "I have been living here in England for a week". In English, it doesn't necessarily mean you have taken up residence or moved in permanently. It is a question of different lexical fields in the two languages. It is not necessary to eliminate the past perfect tense of "to be" to say that.
     

    donques

    Senior Member
    English England
    I live in France for six months every year, I am aware of different lexical implications when I say to someone Je suis là etc.

    I have dealt with two clear points here.

    If lili is introducing "me presenter" to people and uses either expression, she is using the present perfect continuous. The fact that she is "here" shows that with reference to the question, the context, the activity of being here is ongoing.

    If someone asked her, for example, if she had been here before, and she answered that she had been here before, that would be present perfect.

    Secondly as regards ellipsis or not; again, dealing in the real world, as the two statements are together, I am assuming that she wonders if both answers would suffice, if she is asked:
    "Have you been living here for a week?"

    Of course it is very remiss of me not to have considered that she might have been posed questions on existentialism, her acquaintances being of course aware that she is French.
    That's all I am going to write on this.
    Lilli, I hope you enjoy your time while you are (living) here.
     

    Junky_Hero

    Senior Member
    France/French
    salut, je n'arrive toujours pas à faire la différence entre le present perfect simple et le present perfect continuous.
    quelqun peut me dire exactement quand les employer ?

    autre question [...]

    merci bien :)
     

    doinel

    Senior Member
    France French
    Bonsoir,
    C'est une question difficile. mon avis j'essaie de résumer
    Le present perfect simple considère le résultat:
    He's washed the car. A priori la voiture est propre
    he's been washing the car c'est plus le processus que le résultat on s'intéresse à l'activité du sujet On peut constater qu'il y a de l'eau partout par exemple.
    Mais l'avis d'anglophones vous serait plus utile. J'ai plein d'exemples mais c'est un peu long. J'espère que vous aurez d'autres réponses. Bon courage!
     

    Junky_Hero

    Senior Member
    France/French
    oki merci
    et si on rajoute 'Since this morning', est-ce que cela signifie qu'il est encore en train de nettoyer de la voiture, et y-a t-il un commentaire implicite?
    dsl de poser toutes ces questions mais y'a tellement de cas différents
     

    Avignonais

    Senior Member
    USA
    USA, Anglophone
    Une autre différence:
    He has washed the car. (Il l'a déjà fait).
    He has been washing the car. (L'action n'est pas forcément terminée). Et on peu ajouter des morceaux comme "for the past two hours"

    He has washed the car since this morning. Cela signifie qu'il s'est passé quelque chose ce matin après lequel il a nettoyé la voiture.

    He has been washing the car since this morning OU all morning. Les deux signifient qu'il continue à le faire.
     

    miyamoto_musashi

    Banned
    Canada, English
    I don't think a continuous mood is really perfect, as in grammar, perfect means "done." Anyhow, I would say the difference is this: he has washed the car means there is now a change of state, the car is now clean. He has been washing the car also shows a change of state, now his hands and shirt are wet -- and the car may not be clean as yet.
     

    eric2be

    New Member
    France
    bonsoir j'aurais besoin d'aide pour clarifier le point suivant:

    Quelle est la différence de sens entre ces 2 phrases:

    Look at the branches! It has been snowing.
    Look at the branches! it has snowed.

    Merci d'avance
     

    ascoltate

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. & Canada, English
    oooh that's a complicated one-- "has been snowing" sounds better--
    since it's the progressive, it focuses on the process. Et la raison pour laquelle on sait qu'il a neigé, c'est L'ACCUMULATION de neige sur les branches, donc un processus... Je sais pas si ça c'est très clair...
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Look at the branches! It has been snowing.
    Look at the branches! It has snowed.
    La première phrase suggère qu'il neige encore, quand on parle.
    Le seconde phrase indique qu'il a cessé de neiger.

    Néanmoins, il ne s'agit que d'une légère différence de nuance. Il peut y avoir des contextes où les deux phrases sont possibles et s'interprètent de la même façon.
     

    ascoltate

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. & Canada, English
    Look at the branches! It has been snowing.
    Look at the branches! It has snowed.
    La première phrase suggère qu'il neige encore, quand on parle.

    Non, ça c'est faux-- il ne neige plus-- s'il neigeait encore, on dirait:

    "Look at the branches! And it's still snowing"

    Mais ça c'est pas une question de grammaire, mais de contexte, je pense...
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    "It has been snowing all day." -- Quand on dit cette phrase, faut-il que la neige ait déjà cessé définitivement de tomber ?!
     

    ascoltate

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. & Canada, English
    "It has been snowing all day." -- Quand on dit cette phrase, faut-il que la neige ait déjà cessé définitivement de tomber ?!

    No- not at all! That's why I said, I think the reason why it can't be snowing if you say "has been snowing" has to do with the context (why would you need to look at the branches to know that it has been snowing if you can see that it's still snowing) and not to do with the grammar...
     
    To me, "It has snowed" would be the more likely of the sentences to suggest a single instance of snowfall, underlining the fact that it did indeed snow.

    "It has been snowing" might indicate the snow falling over a period of time or in several instances, and would be the more likely of the two sentences to be uttered if it were still snowing.

    A similar example illustrating this in English might be "Their children have cried" (They cried at least once in the past) vs. "Their children have been crying" (They have cried over an extended period of time, possibly more than once, and may still be crying now).
     

    uptown

    Senior Member
    English - United States - Northeast
    En général, les temps progressifs soulignent l'action quand elle est en progrès, ainsi que le temps où elle est en progrès.

    "It has been snowing all day" indiquent que le neige a (ait? SVP corrigez-moi) commencé le matin et qu'il continue à neiger maintenant.

    "It has snowed today" indiquent qu'il a neigé et que le neige est toujours possible pour aujourd'hui.

    "It snowed today" tout simplement dit qu'il a neigé aujourd'hui. Sans contexte, ca ne dit rien de possibilité de neige pour le soir.

    "It snowed yesterday" me dit qu'il a neigé hier. Encore, sans autre info, on ne sait pas s'il a neigé aujourd'hui.

    "It has snowed these past two days." Si on dit cette phrase mercredi matin, cela me dit qu'il a neigé lundi et mardi. Si on dit cette phrase mercredi soir (c'est-à-dire, à la fin de la journée), cela me dit qu'il a neigé mardi et mercredi (et peut-être il neige encore).

    "It has been snowing these past two days." Cela me dit qu'on est au milieu d'un tempête de neige qui a durée près de 24 heurs et qui continue maintenant.

    "Il neigeait quand je suis partit pour le travail ce matin" = "It was snowing when I left for work this morning".
    BUT
    "Il neigeait depuis deux heurs quand je suis partit pour le travail ce matin" = "It had been snowing for two hours when I left for work this morning".

    Les cas plus simples:
    "Il neige maintenant" ou bien "Il est en train de neiger" = "It is snowing". On peut dire, "It is snowing now", mais le mot "now" est un peut redondant dans ce contexte.
    "Il neige en hiver" = "It snows in winter".
    "Il ne neige pas en été" = "It doesn't snow in summer".
     

    doinel

    Senior Member
    France French
    oooh that's a complicated one-- "has been snowing" sounds better--
    since it's the progressive, it focuses on the process. Et la raison pour laquelle on sait qu'il a neigé, c'est L'ACCUMULATION de neige sur les branches, donc un processus... Je sais pas si ça c'est très clair...

    Hello
    I agree with each of your post
    un autre exemple
    On ne pourait pas dire sorry'' I've been reading 3 books' parce que c'est le processus avec la forme progressive qui compte mais le résultat.
    Qu'en pensez-vous?
    Merci beaucoup
     

    uptown

    Senior Member
    English - United States - Northeast
    On peut dire "I've been reading three books." Et c'est très claire. Evidemment, on comprend que le diseur ne les lit pas à la fois. Mais on comprend que le diseur ne les a pas finis. Il est en progrès de les lire... mais pas nécessairement maintenent.

    Si on me dit, "I have read three books," je dirais, "So what?" C'est cette phrase qui ne fait pas de sense à dire (et qui n'est pas claire) dans une société où on sait lire (et il est effectivement le même que "I read three books"). Mais si on dit, "I have read three books this week" ou "I have read three books this month", ça donne plus de contexte, qu'il est (de mon avis) nécessaire avec le présent parfait.
     

    doinel

    Senior Member
    France French
    Merci Uptown
    Avec this month c'est plus clair. Je pensais à quelqu'un qui a des livres à lire et qui dit quelque chose comme, ouf j'en ai lu 3!
    Tout ceci ne va pas rendre la compréhension de la différences entres les 2 temps facile . J'espère ne pas avoir crée davantage de confusion.
     

    uptown

    Senior Member
    English - United States - Northeast
    Je traduirais « j'en ai lu trois » comme « I've read three ». Le passé composé en français est utilisé pour les actions complètes, ainsi que le présent parfait en anglais.

    Avec le « ouf »... cela me dit que les livres étaient nécessaires (pour l'université, l'école, et cetéra). Dans ce cas, je dirais « I've had to read three ». Souvenez-vous que « I have to do something » veut dire « Il faut que je fasse quelquechose ».
     

    ktrevien

    New Member
    french
    Hello,

    I have some difficulties :

    Here's a couple of examples I was given by an English friend:


    First Cases

    "I've been living in Ghana for the last 5 months/since last December."
    "My mother has lived near Southampton all her life."

    "That man's been standing on the beach all morning."
    "Cape Coast castle has stood above the town for hundreds of years."


    In these cases, the progressive tense is used for more temporary events. And most of all, the present perfect is used to describe an event which is not accomplished (his mother still lives in Southampton)


    2nd cases

    I've been looking at your photos (=but I haven't finished yet)
    I've looked at your photos (=and I've finished looking at them)

    I've been learning irregular verbs all afternoon.
    I've learnt my irregular verbs (=I know them)

    In theses cases, the present perfect is used to describe some accomplished events and to insist on it by opposition to the progressive tense...

    I understand the difference of meaning between present perfect and present perfect progressive in these examples, and it is really clear, but the fact that the present perfect is sometimes used for accomplished events and sometimes for unaccomplished events is quite confusing.

    For example :

    I've been living in Brittany for 7 years (I still leave there)
    I've lived in Brittany for 7 years (the point is it does not mean It's just over and I'm leaving tomorrow)



    Is it a matter of time scales ? I mean for a life scale or more I should apply the first examples and for recent events I should apply the second ones ?

    Thanks

    Kenan
     

    RuK

    Senior Member
    English/lives France
    "I've been living/have lived in Ghana for the last 5 months/since last December." - still am
    I lived in Ghana - it's over.

    "My mother has lived near Southampton all her life." - is still alive
    "has been living" - is still alive
    "My mother lived near etc" - she's now dead.

    "That man's been standing on the beach all morning" - still is
    "That man stood etc" - now left the beach.

    "Cape Coast castle has stood above the town for hundreds of years" - still does
    "It stood above the town for years " - it now doesn't

    I have lived in Brittany for 7 years - I continue to live there
    I have been living etc - same thing.
    I lived in Brittany for 7 years - it's over, I've moved out.
     

    ktrevien

    New Member
    french
    Thank very much indeed for your answer, but this not really what I asked for, maybe I was not clear enough.

    As I said, I understand the difference of meaning of the previous examples I quoted. My question is can you explain me why in the first cases the present perfect is used to express an unaccomplished action while in the second cases, it is specially used to express (by opposition to the Present perfect progressive) the fact the action is accomplished...


    I have lived in Brittany for 7 years (still does)
    I've learnt my irregular verbs (it is finished)

    Same tense, same structure, opposite meaning...
     

    Thias

    Member
    French
    hello guys,

    I've been having difficulties with the differences between those two tenses. I understand the basics of each tense but the line between those two can be very subtle at times.

    "I have lived in Paris for 3 years"..
    > can both mean that you are living in Paris and it's been going on for three years, but also that you have lived at some point in your life in Paris for three years, but it's over now. Am I right so far?

    "I have been living in Paris for 3 years".
    > means that for the last 3 years, you have been living in Paris, correct?
    > can it still mean that it is possibly over, or the aspect "continuous" makes it still "happening"?

    Please, enlighten me :)
     

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    "I have lived in Paris for 3 years"..
    > can both mean that you are living in Paris and it's been going on for three years :thumbsup:, but also that you have lived at some point in your life in Paris for three years, but it's over now. :thumbsdown:
    Non, avec le present perfect, si c'est terminé, c'est que cela vient juste de se terminer maintenant. Dans votre contexte, cela pourrait donc signifier que vous avez vécu pendant 3 ans à Paris, mais que maintenant vous allez déménager ou que vous venez juste de déménager.

    "I have been living in Paris for 3 years".
    > means that for the last 3 years, you have been living in Paris, correct? :thumbsup:
    > can it still mean that it is possibly over :thumbsdown:, or the aspect "continuous" makes it still "happening"? :thumbsup:
    Avec le present perfect continuous, vous dites que ça fait 3 ans que vous vivez à Paris et que ça va continuer. Dans tous les cas, il est hors de question que vous ne viviez plus à Paris. Dans ce cas-là, vous devriez employer le simple past (I lived in Paris for 3 years).
     

    Thias

    Member
    French
    Thank you !

    Est-ce que quelque part, on peut dire que le present perfect tend vers la "négative" quand l'ajout de l'aspect continu assure le côté "positif" de l'action.
    Ca doit être surement très abstrait ce que je demande..
    Quelqu'un qui essaye par exemple d'arrêter de fumer.. et dit "I have tried to quit smoking." Doit on forcément comprendre qu'il n'a pas réussi, ou le résultat de "try to quit smoking" peut autant être le succès que l'échec?
    Car de mon point de vue (peut-être tronqué)
    I have tried to quit smoking. > la personne a essayé et abandonné.
    I have been trying to quit smoking. > la personne a essayé, continue d'essayer, et n'abandonnera pas avant succès.

    Est-ce que je suis dans le vrai ou suis-je parti trop loin? =)
    En tout cas, merci de vos réponses !
     

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    Si la personne a abandonné, il faut employer le simple past : I tried to quit smoking.

    Si la personne a fait beaucoup d'efforts, le present perfect continuous s'impose : I've been trying to quit smoking.
     

    Dracaenae

    New Member
    French - France
    Hello everyone !

    I wonder which one of the two solutions (has baked OR has been baking) should be used in the following sentence : Brian has got flour in his hair. He ... a caked.
    May you help me please?

    Thank you in advance,

    Dracaenae
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    Les deux temps sont possibles selon le contexte.

    Brian has got flour in his hair. He has baked a cake. → Il vient de finir son gâteau.
    Brian has got flour in his hair. He has been baking a cake. → Il est toujours en train de faire son gâteau.
     

    Kelly B

    Curmodgeratrice
    USA English
    I'd be inclined to use he has been baking, regardless, perhaps because the emphasis here is on the process of baking during which he got the flour in his hair. For me it's more about the feel of the sentence, though; Maître C. has a better grasp of the actual rules than I have. :D
     

    Mathis.Jem

    Member
    French
    He has baked a cake. → Il vient de finir son gâteau.
    Je ne comprends moi non plus pas trop la nuance entre ces deux formes present perfect - present perfect continu

    On m'a toujours appris que en gros, le present perfect est utilisé pour parler d'une action qui a commencée dans le passé et qui n'est pas terminée dans le présent, qui est encore en cours.
    Or là, vous dites que l'action est terminée...

    Enfin, on m'a aussi appris qu'on peut utiliser le present perfect pour parler d'une action qui a des conséquences sur le présent. C'est parce qu'il a fait un gâteau qu'il a de la farine dans les cheveux
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    "He has baked a cake": Le procédé est complet.
    "He has been baking a cake": Ou le procédé n'est pas complet (le gateau est toujours au four, par exemple), ou le procédé vient tout juste de se compléter.
     

    moustic

    Moderator
    English (Yorkshire)
    He has baked a cake. -> On s'intéresse au résultat : il y a un gâteau sur la table.
    He has been baking a cake. -> On s'intéresse au processus - il a de la farine partout, mais on ne sait pas s'il a fini.

    Je préfère l'example de la réparation d'un vélo :
    He has repaired his bike. - résultat, le vélo est réparé. Il peut aller faire un tour.
    He has been repairing his bike. - cette tournure sert à commenter une action : il a passé du temps à réparer son vélo, il est peut-être couvert de graisse, mais on ne sait pas si le vélo est utilisable.
     

    atcheque

    Senior Member
    français (France)
    Bonjour,
    On m'a toujours appris que en gros, le present perfect est utilisé pour parler d'une action qui a commencée dans le passé et qui n'est pas terminée dans le présent, qui est encore en cours.
    :confused: Moi, j'ai appris, en gros : I have eaten this morning. I'm not hungry. I will wait until lunch.
    L'action est terminée, mais son résultat est toujours présent.
    Par contre : I ate this morning. Now I am hungry. It's time for lunch.
     
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    Mathis.Jem

    Member
    French
    Ben concrètement : I have lived in Paris for 10 years >ça fait dix ans que je vis à Paris

    ça a commencé il y a 10 ans et cela dure encore aujourd'hui.

    Voilà ce qu'on m'a appris
     

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    En bref :

    Verbes d'action
    • Present perfect → le processus est complet et il y a un lien avec le présent ou une conséquence sur lui ; la description est neutre, factuelle :
      He has baked a cake
      = Il a fait un gâteau → le gâteau est visible sur la table, le gâteau est prêt, etc.
    • Present perfect continuous → le processus a duré continuellement (on insiste sur l'aspect ininterrompu ou les efforts fournis) et vient de se terminer, ou il est encore en cours ; la description est plus emphatique et dénote davantage d'émotion :
      He has been baking a cake = Il a fait un gâteau (pendant X heures [d'affilée]) / Ça fait X heures qu'il est en train de faire un gâteau
    Verbes d'état (typiquement to be)
    • Present perfect → le processus vient de se terminer ou il est encore en cours
      He has been sick
      = Il a été malade (il vient de se rétablir ou il est encore malade)
    • Present perfect continuous → rarement employé

    I have eaten this morning.
    Si on précise this morning, le present perfect n'est pas approprié ; dans ce cas il faudrait un simple past. Mais bon, on s'éloigne de la question d'origine…
     
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