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The Present Perfect Progressive Tense (#5), by Dennis Oliver

 

The Present Perfect Progressive Tense (#5):

More on "Non-Continuing Verbs"

 

Some verbs normally aren't in progressive tenses because
their meanings describe a state, not an activity. These verbs
are normally used in simple present perfect tense, not
present perfect progressive. Some of these verbs have both
"continuing" and "non-continuing" meanings, however,
and the "continuing" meanings may be used in present
perfect progressive:

Verb   Notes
appear  

One meaning,"seem," is non-continuous.
Another meaning, "be somewhere as
a performer, speaker, etc.," is continuous
and may be used in present perfect progressive:

Some great bands have been appearing
at Club Chaos recently.

     
be  

Normally, be is non-continuous, but it also
has another meaning (used with adjectives):
"behave." This meaning is continuous and
may be used with present perfect progressive:

The children have been being naughty all
afternoon. Wait until their father comes home!

     
feel  

One meaning for feel is something like
"think" or "believe." Another meaning
is something like "touch." A third meaning
describes one's physical or mental condition.
The first meaning is non-continuous. The
others are continuous and may be used
in present perfect progressive:

Joey says that he has a fever, but I've been
feeling his forehead for the past 20 minutes
and his temperature seems normal to me.

Has Carla been feeling sick lately? She
looks very pale and she doesn't seem to
have much energy.

     
have  

The normal meaning for have, "possess,"
is non-continuous, but it has several other
meanings which are continuous:

(1) "have a good (etc.) time"
(= [not] enjoy oneself"

Yes, I've been having a very good time.
Judy's parties are always a lot of fun.

(2) "give birth"

How long will Jessica be in the delivery
room? She's been having her baby for
a very long time!

(3) "be involved in ___ " (a meeting,
discussion, bath, etc.)

Don't go into the conference room. The
Accounting Department has been having
an important meeting there since 8:30 AM.

(4) "eat or drink"

Let's eat in a good restaurant tonight.
We've been having too many meals
at home lately!

     
imagine  

One meaning for imagine is something
like "guess" or "suppose" and is
non-continuous. Another meaning is
something like "pretend"; it may be used
in continuous tenses:

A: What have you been doing?

B: I've been imagining that I'm rich and
don't have to work!

     
include  

One meaning for include shows the
things that are part of another thing;
this meaning is non-continuous. Another
meaning is something like "put in" or
"enclose" or "add to" and may be used
in continuous tenses:

Have you been including receipts with
your travel expense reports? If you
haven't, you won't be reimbursed for
many of your expenses.

     
mind  

The most common meaning for mind
is like "object to"; it's non-continuous.
Another meaning is something like "obey";
it may be used with continuous tenses:

Billy, have you been minding your mother?

     
remember  

One meaning for remember, "recall,"
is non-continuous. Another meaning
describes the mental action of reviewing
memories; it may be used in continuous tenses:

Today, as I look at the photos we took
on our trip to Greece, I've been remembering
the many wonderful things we saw and did.

     
see  

The most common meaning for see is
similar to "look" and is non-continuous.
Another meaning is something like "go with"
(have regular dates with); it's continuous:

Karl has been seeing Ellen a lot lately.
Are they going steady?

     
smell  

The physical action of using one's nose
to detect an odor or fragrance is continuous.
The "linking verb" meaning (where you
describe how something smells) is not:

I've been smelling something burning for
the past few minutes. What's on fire?

     
taste  

The physical action of "testing" something
by eating or drinking a little of it is
continuous. The "linking verb" meaning
(where you describe how something tastes)
is not:

Who's been tasting the cookies? There were
two dozen of them five minutes ago, and
now there are only 20!

     
think  

One meaning for think is something like
"believe" or "have an opinion"; it's not used
in continuous tenses. Another meaning
describes a mental action; it's continuous:

I've been thinking about Alfredo all day.
Do you think I should call him?

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