I have worked / I have been working

kalamazoo

Senior Member
US, English
I respectfully disagree. The two sentences with 'work' are identical in meaning, at least without any other context. "Work" here is more like a general activity. Similarly you could say "I have lived here since 1999" or "I have been living here since 1999." This is not necessarily true for other verbs.
 
  • shanly83

    New Member
    arabic
    I respectfully disagree. The two sentences with 'work' are identical in meaning, at least without any other context. "Work" here is more like a general activity. Similarly you could say "I have lived here since 1999" or "I have been living here since 1999." This is not necessarily true for other verbs.
    I agree with you. But the 2 sentence are grammatically correct.
    As far as I know, we can use the present perfect in 4 situations 1- past true ( experience) example: I have seen an Alien.timeline ( started in the past and the result still in the mind)
    2- past finished ( change). Example: I have bought a car. Timeline ( last week I don't have a car this week i have a car .
    3 - past unfinished (continuing). Example: I have worked here for 5 years. Timeline ( started in the past and still going on and probably will continue to future.
    4- past repetitive action. (I have shopped here for many years).
    As for present perfect continuous we use it for
    1- started and finished ( recently). Example ( I'm tired I have been running.
    2- started and continuing.Example ( I have worked here for 5 years. Timeline ( started in the past and still going on but not sure about the future. So I agree with you we should not use the word ( work) with present perfect continuous.
    I think the correct answer is : I have worked here since1999. Because the time line of present perfect is stronger toward the future.
     

    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    I disagree with you, and I am a native English speaker. Both sentences with work are perfectly correct and perfectly idiomatic. It is not the case that one is correct and the other is not correct. They are both correct.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Wandle put it succinctly near the beginning of this very long thread (my bolding):

    The present perfect places past action in the context of the present.
    It refers to something past, but gives it a present connection.

    Thus 'I have worked here since 1999' refers to activity which is, yes, in the past, but it is connecting that activity to the present: consequently, we know that the speaker is still in that job.

    'I have been working here since 1999' is no different, except that it places an emphasis on the continuous aspect of the activity.
     

    Oldmikeho

    New Member
    Chinese
    A simple logic can prove the following 2 sentences are different.
    1) He has worked in our company since 1978.
    2) He has been working in our company since 1978.

    If he is no longer working in our company now, the 1st sentence can still be used, but we can never use the 2nd one.
     

    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    A simple logic can prove the following 2 sentences are different.
    1) He has worked in our company since 1978.
    2) He has been working in our company since 1978.

    If he is no longer working in our company now, the 1st sentence can still be used, but we can never use the 2nd one.
    If he is no longer working in our company, neither sentence works.
     

    Oldmikeho

    New Member
    Chinese
    1) The old lady has lived in Australia since 1900.

    2) The old lady has been living in Australia since 1900.

    Are you sure the old lady in the 1st sentence is still alive?
     

    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    Apparently she is still alive, because she is still living in Australia. If she were dead, one could say The old lady had lived in Australia since 1900. I am a native English speaker by the way.
     
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    Oldmikeho

    New Member
    Chinese
    Thank you for your reply!

    Suppose you are a Taiwanese, and you do not know anything about Hong Kong. One day you read the following from newspaper:
    (The fact is that Mary is still working in the government today.) Which one will you choose if you are the editor? (has worked / has been working) :

    Our Hong Kong Chief Executive Ms. Mary (has worked / has been working) as a government official since 1985. She was born in Hong Kong in 1957, and she never stayed in any other countries for more than 1 month in the last 64 years. She is now on the way to England to visit her family, preparing to move to England in 2023.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    If I was the editor, I’d rewrite the whole thing. But to answer your question, in the context of simply describing someone’s current situation in terms of their career to date (as in a brief biography), there’s no obvious reason to use the progressive aspect.
    A simple logic can prove the following 2 sentences are different.
    1) He has worked in our company since 1978.
    2) He has been working in our company since 1978.

    If he is no longer working in our company now, the 1st sentence can still be used, but we can never use the 2nd one.
    It’s true that sentence 1 can theoretically be used even if he’s since left the company – but only if its time reference is backshifted to the past (to when he left his former employment with the company). In other words, you have to read it as meaning that there was a period, between 1978 and now, during which he worked for the company. But that period both began and ended in the past.
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Is the use of the past perfect "had worked" correct in the following sentence:

    John has just been fired. He had worked in our company since 2010.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Of course it is. As soon as he’s fired, he no longer works for the company, so you need the past tense.

    He had worked for the company for 10 years before being fired a few moments ago.​
     

    Oldmikeho

    New Member
    Chinese
    John has just been fired. He had worked in our company since 2010.

    So, if John is no longer working in our company now, no matter when he was fired, we can never write "He has worked in our company since 2010.

    Therefore, the meanings of the following 2 sentences are 100% identical.
    Is that right?

    1) He has worked in our company since 2010.
    2) He has been working in our company since 2010.

    Is this applicable to all other verbs, or some other verbs?
     

    FloMar

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hello Skin, I would like to comment what I've got to tell here. Please look these sentences once again
    1) I have worked here since 1999, and
    2) I have been working here since 1999.

    Sentence 1) would be used only when I was working there and now I no longer work there. On the other hand 2) would be used when I'm still working there.
    Cheers,
    Saurabh.

    I disagree too, Saurabh.
    Hi marinesea

    Basically no, there isn't a difference.


    Sentence 1 means that I am still working here. This is so because have worked since indicates that the action is on-going. If I no longer work at a place I would just say, "I worked here from 1999 to 2002" or "I have worked here for 3 years".

    I hope it makes sense. :)
     

    FloMar

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Both have the same time frame: they started in the past and are relevant now - I still work there (the present perfect simple or continuous bridges past and present time). I have worked focuses on the fact and I have been working focuses on the action (maybe it's arduous, repetitive or even complicated - but now I know everything because I've been here for that long). In British English it is incorrect to say that I have worked + since + date means that I no longer work there, but if I say I have worked at MacDonald's without a time frame, this implies that I am talking about action that is complete but where the relevance to my life/ life's experience is present.
     
    Last edited:

    Marina78

    New Member
    italian
    I disagree too, Saurabh.

    Sentence 1 means that I am still working here. This is so because have worked since indicates that the action is on-going. If I no longer work at a place I would just say, "I worked here from 1999 to 2002" or "I have worked here for 3 years".

    I hope it makes sense. :)
    That’s the correct one !
     

    AmericanAbroad

    Member
    American English
    Well, let me see if I can throw a wrench of confusion into the whole discussion, which seems to me too narrowly focused on one particular sample phrase. To my native American ear, there is a slight semantic difference between "I have worked here since 1960" and "I have been working here since 1960". That difference being that "have worked" seems to refer to fact that the person has been employed, and "have been working" seems to refer to the activity the person has been engaged in. The difference might be clearer if you think of the phrase in another context. It would be correct for someone to say, "I've been working since 10 o'clock this morning." But you would not say, "I have worked since 10 o'clock this morning." By itself. You COULD say both "I have been working on this project since 10 o'clock this morning" and "I have worked on this project since 10 o'clock this morning." Similarly, if you insert the word "here" in thet sentence, both usages seem workable. Question: "How long have you worked here [or "been working here"]? Answer: "I have been working here since 10 o'clock this morning." "I have worked here since 10 o'clock this morning." BUT, you could also use the present form of the verb work in this context. Someone asked, "hey , when did you get hired here?" or "since when do you work here?" Answer: "I work here since 10 o'clock this morning." There are nuanced differences between what the word "work", "worked" or "working" means in these different contexts. So, if you widen your perspective, a simple dismissal of any difference between the meanings is not correct... Nor is it correct to say that the two phrases "have worked" and "habe been working" can always be used interchangeably without any difference in meaning. Nor is it correct to say that you can never use the present form of the verb "work" in this context. hahahaha. There, that should leave non-native English speakers completely confused!
     
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