Explain present perfect continuous

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marie josey

New Member
English - Ireland
Hi,
Looking for help to explain " Anne has beeen learning " to drive for seven years.

When I explain that this is a continual action over times my students say it isn't continuous and it's long term
therfore the present perfect simple is better !!- Anne has learnt to drive for seven years.

I'm at a loss to explain this as what they say is true, except to say the first sounds better!!

Would appreciate any ideas.
Marie-josey
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    it isn't continuous and it's long term
    I do not see any difference.
    The continuous form of the verb used to be called "the imperfect" because the action had not been "perfected" (i.e. finished.)

    The continuous is used for actions that are incomplete at the time they are referred to.

    The actions can be continuous or continual.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Anne has been learning to drive for seven years. :tick: (implies she’s still taking lessons)

    Anne has learnt to drive for seven years. :thumbsdown:
    (sounds odd – as though driving for 7 years was what she was being taught to do! :D)
     

    marie josey

    New Member
    English - Ireland
    Thanks for that, didn't realise tense used to be called imperfect, good to know.
    The continuous form sounds better to me!

    marie-josey
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Learning to drive isn't continuous, but it is continual.

    Continuous = 24/7.
    Continual = repeated, ongoing, habitual.

    In spite of the terms "past continuous, perfect continuous", we use this tense for repeated actions also.
     
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