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time expressions with perfect continious

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

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time expressions with perfect continious

Postby Anastasyia » Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:58 pm

Hello {-: )) I am a non-native speaker, so I hope you can help me get some things clear.
Is it grammatically and semantically correct to say "I have been painting the wall from 3 to 5 p.m today"/"I had been painting the wall from 3 to 5 p.m today"/"I had been painting the wall from 3 to 5 p.m yesterday" , "I have been writing a letter until 5 p.m today"/"I had been writing a letter until 5 p.m today"/"I had been writing a letter until 5 p.m yesterday". In other words, can we use the Present Perfect Continuous/ Past Perfect Continuous Tense with time expressions such as "from 3 to 5 p.m", "until 5 p.m." and other similar expressions that refer to a particular time in the present or past? {-: thanks a lot
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Re: time expressions with perfect continious

Postby Alan » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:43 am

Briefly, yes with the past perfect but no with the present perfect, since the former, unlike the latter, can be modified by a definite past time phrase (e.g. I had already spoken to him earlier that morning).
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