FR: I have been waiting for two hours

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Senior Member
I want to know whether there is "the present perfect continuous" in French,if there is,how do you say it? thank you!

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  • Fez

    English, Australia
    "Je l'attends depuis deux heures"

    "depuis" means "since" or "for" and is what you use to express a continuous action, one that started in the past and is still going. Always use "depuis" with the present conjugation of the verb in French, hence "je l'attends"


    Senior Member
    No, it doesn't exist in French.
    It mostly corresponds to a "passé composé" or a "présent".

    "Je l'attends depuis deux heures" but this might mean "since 2 o'clock", so to avoid any ambiguity, we'd say "il y a deux heures que je l'attends".


    Senior Member
    Thank you for quickly answers,both you.So it means to say that the "depuis" is quite necessary,so I got it.And"I have been living in a prison of fear since that day."==="je vis dans une prison de peur depuis ce jour-là."
    Am I right?


    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Since progressive tenses don't exist in French, this confuses me. "I have been waiting here for hours" becomes what? "J'ai été ici pour beaucoup d'heures" or "J'étais ici…?"

    Seeing as the literal translations range from "I have waited here for hours," "I waited here for hours," "I was waiting here for hours," ce serait lequel ?

    Merci d'avance.


    Senior Member
    "I have been waiting here for hours": Ça fait des heures que j'attends ici
    "I have waited here for hours": J'ai attendu ici pendant des heures
    "I waited here for hours": J'ai attendu ici... or J'avais attendu ici...
    "I was waiting here for hours: J'ai attendu ici... or J'avais attendu ici...

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    In British English there's a clear distinction between the "have been" versions (statements of present fact) and the "waited/was waiting" versions which are memories of the past.

    I have waited here this morning...
    I waited/was waiting here last week...

    I think this second case might be reflected as "J'attendais ici..." but I might be wrong.


    Senior Member
    Sometimes the imparfait is indeed the equivalent of the progressive tenses in English, but not really in this particular case. One could say "J'attendais ici..." to express a concomitent event e.g. "J'attendais ici lorsque je l'ai vu passer".


    Senior Member
    British English
    When we use "for" and "since" in English with a present perfect (+ing) to indicate that we started something in the past and it still continues:
    I've been waiting here for hours. / I've known my best friend since 2002.

    in French, they disregard the notion of past and retain the idea that the action still continues now and they use a present tense:
    J'attends ici depuis des heures. / Je connais mon meilleur ami depuis 2002.
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