Difficult tenses

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Difficult tenses

Post by JesseJ »

I was wondering what the difference is between the following two sentences and why sentence 2 is grammatically correct:
1. Over the last year I have been running workshops on creative writing.
2. Over the last year I have run workshops on creative writing.

My Cambridge textbook states that sentence 2 is correct, but I am wondering why this one is correct. Sentence 1 seems more correct to me, because "running workshops" seems like an continious process over a time period. Just like the sentence: I have been teaching English for 10 years. Both of these sentences focus on a process over a certain period of time, in stead of just a result from a action with present relevance.

Could someone help me?
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Re: Difficult tenses

Post by Cafetalk »

Both are correct, but there is a very subtle difference in meaning. Remember that there are 12 (often confusing) English verb tenses. These consist of four "families (technically called "ASPECTS") of verbs:
1. Simple
2. Perfect
3. Continuous (also called "Progressive")
4. Perfect Continuous

Each family (aspect) contains three forms: Past, Present, and Future (ergo 12 tenses: 4 aspects x 3 = 12)

Your examples involve the present form of two verb "families" (aspects), the PERFECT CONTINOUS and the PERFECT:
1. present PERFECT CONTINUOUS: "I have been running."
2. present PERFECT: "I have run."

The first example implies that the action has been ongoing (or "continuous") in the present, but it is now completed.
EXAMPLE: "'I have been running' all day today, but I have stopped." In other words, you have now ceased to run today.

The second example is very similar. It also implies action that has occurred in the present that is now completed. However, in this instance, the action "run" was NOT ongoing during the entire day.
EXAMPLE: "Today, 'I have run' once, and I have stopped."
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