I've been studying English <during,for> the last year.

Æstral

New Member
Argentina (Spanish)
Hello.

Which sentence do you think is correct?

- I've been studying English during the last year.

- I've been studying English for the last year.

I would say that the one that has "during" is the correct one, but I want to be sure.

Bye bye.
 
  • If you were studying English for the last year, I would take that to mean that you have been a student of English for the twelve months preceding the time you say this.

    If you were studying English during the last year, I would take that to mean that at some time in 2006, for an unspecified length of time, you studied English. It is not specified that you are not at present a student of English, but one might assume this to be the case.

    I suspect that what you might really want is "I began to study English last year."
     

    Æstral

    New Member
    Argentina (Spanish)
    Well, in that case I think that I wanted to say:

    I've been studying English during the last year.

    because I wanted to say that I studied English the last year but I stopped when the year ended. I used present perfect because I'm talking about my current English level.

    I guess that if I would have used began, then that would mean that I am still studying, which is not the case.

    What do you think?

    Thanks PatBParis and GreenWhiteBlue. And thanks for your explanation GreenWhiteBlue, it was really good.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    [...]
    I wanted to say that I studied English the last year but I stopped when the year ended. I used present perfect because I'm talking about my current English level.
    [...]
    I studied English last year.
    Don't use present perfect, you stopped studying English some time in the past.
     

    Yatesman

    New Member
    England, English
    Hello.

    Which sentence do you think is correct?

    - I've been studying English during the last year.

    - I've been studying English for the last year.

    I would say that the one that has "during" is the correct one, but I want to be sure.

    Bye bye.


    'I've been studying English for the last year' indicates that the studying is ongoing and yet to finish.

    'I've been studying English during the last year' indicates, in not very good English, that part of your activities last year was to study English.

    I think you may be trying to say....( as another contributor has said!)...' I studied English last year.'

    I hope that makes sense.
     

    Æstral

    New Member
    Argentina (Spanish)
    Ok, I understand your point panjandrum and Yatesman, but if I am talking about my current English level, wouldn't it be better to use present perfect due to that action in the past affects the current state of my English knowledge?
     

    Prower

    Banned
    Russian
    If you were studying English for the last year, I would take that to mean that you have been a student of English for the twelve months preceding the time you say this.

    Basically, it can be substituted with in the last year

    I have been studying English for the last year = I have been studying English in the last year.

    Right?

    If you were studying English during the last year, I would take that to mean that at some time in 2006, for an unspecified length of time, you studied English. It is not specified that you are not at present a student of English, but one might assume this to be the case.

    I suspect that what you might really want is "I began to study English last year."

    It we utter this sentence in 2007 then isn't it a mistake to use "the year" here? The previous year of 2007 is 2006 and should be refered to as "last year" not "the last year" when the speaking takes place in 2007. Right?

    In this thread http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2365269 we can see that "during the last year?" is used with PRESENT PERFECT which means that it is the same year when this sentence is spoken i.e. 2007. I wonder how can it refer to 2006?
     
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    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Basically, it can be substituted with in the last year

    I have been studying English for the last year = I have been studying English in the last year.

    Right?
    Wrong, I'm afraid, Prower:( - see GWB's explanation. "In the last year" would be equivalent to "during the last year".
     

    Prower

    Banned
    Russian
    He says nothing about "in the last year". As far as I know " in the last year" also means 12 months preceding the time one says it. Or do you want to say that "in the last year" means something different?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    He says nothing about "in the last year". As far as I know " in the last year" also means 12 months preceding the time one says it. Or do you want to say that "in the last year" means something different?
    I think we're violently agreeing, Prower:). "In the last year" means "during the last year". It doesn't mean "for the last year".
     

    Prower

    Banned
    Russian
    Do you mean that the difference between "In the last year" and "for the last year" is the same as in:

    I have lived here for 3 years. and I have lived here in 3 years.

    Is it about in and for?
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Ok, I understand your point panjandrum and Yatesman, but if I am talking about my current English level, wouldn't it be better to use present perfect due to that action in the past affects the current state of my English knowledge?

    No. Your sentence does not mention your current level of English.

    The present perfect is correct in the following case:
    'I have studied English to intermediate level.'
    This tells us two things: how far you studied, and your present level of knowledge.

    On the other hand, if later in life you said 'I studied English to intermediate level' this would still say how far you studied, as a fact about your earlier life, but it would not tell us your level of knowledge at the time of speaking (you might have forgotten much of it in the meantime).
     
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