A special Present Perfect episode with special guest Bea. What’s the diffence between the present perfect and el preterito perfecto? When should you use present perfect simple and present perfect continuous?
What’s the difference between ‘still’, ‘yet’ ‘and already’? Reza, Craig and Bea explain all this and more in this episode.
Present Perfect – Reza and I spoke about the present perfect in episode 5 of Aprender inglés con Reza y Craig.
FORM: Present Perfect – HAVE/HAS + PAST PARTICIPLE
Example: I have been to Rome. Have you been to Rome?
Reza hasn’t been to Rome. Bea has been to Rome.
Differences in use: preterito perfecto and present perfect
XI’ve said (before) that I teach EnglishX – He dicho que soy professor
XWhat has she said?X – “What did she say.”
I said before that I teach Spanish.
Craig has many ‘ingrained errors’ when he speaks Spanish (los errores adquiridos).
Bea is going to take it into account and correct his Spanish in the future. (take it into account = tener en cuenta)
Ha llegado hace un rato. – She arrived a little while ago. (ago almost always goes together with the past simple tense).
Cuando lo he visto no he podido creerlo. – When I saw it I couldn’t believe it.
Bea says, “TRY NOT TO TRANSLATE from Spanish to English. ”
STILL / ALREADY / JUST / YET
Positive: I’ve already visited Cuba.
Negative: I haven’t visited Argentina yet. (yet = aun/todavia)
Question: Have you visited Latin America yet?
Bea has been to Latin America. She has been to Honduras and Nicaragua. She went about ten years ago.
Reza: “So you have been in a war zone.”
Bea. I have!
Reza has been to Cuba, and he wants to go back!
Use already for positive sentences: “I’ve already visited Cuba”
Use yet for negative sentences and questions: Have you been to Latin America yet?” – “Reza hasn’t been to Argentina yet.”
Already can be used for questions:
Reza: “Craig, have you already visited Peru?”
Has Craig already been to Peru? (Reza used ‘already’ because he expects the answer ‘yes’- No, Craig hasn’t been to Peru yet.
“Have you already finished your dinner?” – “¿Ya has acabado?, “¿Ya has terminado?”
“Haven’t you finished yet?” (a negative question)
Already normally goes before the past participle: “I’ve already visited Cuba.”. It can also go at the end: “I’ve visited Cuba already.”
STILL – Use still for negative sentences and negative questions with the present perfect.
Craig STILL hasn’t visited Disneyland = Craig hasn’t visited Disneyland YET. (the same meaning)
Have you STILL not tidied your room? (a negative question)
Have you STILL not finished your homework? (Still is used to give emphasis or surprise – It’s important to stress and emphasize still to show surprise)
JUST – Just is very common with the present perfect in English (but not in Spanish):
“He’s just gone.” – se acabo de ir
“I’ve just finished.”
“I’ve just had dinner.”
“I’ve just had a coffee.”
“He’s just been here.”
SO FAR – “He hasn’t given me any homework so far.” (the same as already/yet)
So far is more common in informal English. The position of so far is usually at the beginning or at the end of the clause: So far he hasn’t done any writing. / He hasn’t done any writing so far.
Present perfect simple and present perfect continuous
“How long have you been teaching?” – (present perfect continuous)
“I’ve been teaching for 20 years.”
Reza has been teaching for 20 years.
Bea has been teaching for 25 years.
“I’ve taught in Spain, France, Thailand and the UK.” (present perfect simple)
“I’ve been teaching for 20 years.” (Use the present perfect continuous for something that began in the past and continues up to now)
“How long have you been living in Valencia?”
“Craig has been living in Valencia for 18 years.” (Craig came to Valencia in 1997 and he lives there now.)
Valencia football club have been playing well (emphasis on the activity of playing)
Valencia football club have won 6 games this season (emphasis on the NUMBER of games they have won from the past until now)
Craig has taught in many countries (personal experience with no time reference)
Bea has written three letters today (emphasis on the number of letters)
I’ve been living here for 20 years / I’ve lived here for 20 years (very similar meaning)
Bea has worked there for 5 years / Bea has been working there for 5 years (very similar meaning)
Reza: “I’ve been painting the house.” (That’s why his flat is a mess and he has paint on his clothes and in his hair. – There is some evidence of activity). Reza may, or may not, have finished.
Reza: “I’ve painted the house.” (It looks lovely! – a finished action)
The present perfect continuous in Spanish is often formed with the verb “llevar”:
“I’ve been living in Valencia for 20 years.” – Llevo 20 años viviendo en Valencia. / Vivo aquí desde hace 20 años.
¡OJO! – XI live here during 20 yearsX is not correct!
Bea hates fig rolls! (galletas de higo)
Send us an email, or a sound file (mensaje de voz en mp3) with a comment or question to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Por favor darnos estrellas y una critica en iTunes.
The music in this podcast is by Pitx. The track is called See You Later – licensed by creative commons under a by-nc license at ccmixter.org.
FULL TRANSCRIPTION (kindly contributed by Patricia Alonso)
C: Hello everybody and welcome to episode 18 of “Aprender Inglés con Reza y Craig”, episodio 18. I’m here with Reza, as usual.
R: Hi Craig.
C: Hi Reza.
R: How are you?
C: I’m very well, how are you?
R: Fine, thanks.
C: That’s good. And we have a special guest today, Bea, hello Bea!
B: Hello Craig! Hello Reza! How are you both today?
R: Very well.
B: Nice to be here.
C: Thank you very much for coming on the show. Bea is a colleague of us, she works together with us at the British Council, she’s helped to write course books and she lives also in Valencia, so it’s lovely to have you.
B: Thank you.
C: Because this is a special episode, I think today we’ll talk a little about the present perfect, which Reza and I talked about in episode 5, I think it was. If you go back to episode 5 you can hear Reza and I comparing present perfect with past simple. Today we’re gonna try and cope more profundamente, vamos a, we’re going to go to the meat and potatoes, as they say in English, the carne y patatas of the present perfect.
B: Do we say that? Never heard that in my life, just for the record.
C: Al grano.
B: Exactly, that’s better.
C: So, where should we start? Should we start with the form present perfect for listeners who aren’t sure how to make present perfect?
B: Yeah, it’s quite a good starting point, and I think what we find usually in class is that students don’t actually have a problem with the form, because it’s similar to the form in Spanish, but there is a problem with the execution , in other words how to use this particular tense in English. So, yeah, I think that it’s a good starting point, let’s start of by saying how you actually build the present perfect simple.
C: Well, I know it’s with have or has.
B: That’s right, an what’s the next bit after have or has?
R: Well, if it’s present perfect simple, the past participle.
B: That’s right, and that’s for… I think that if you got your list of irregular verbs…
C: Which you should have in front of you.
B: Exactly. That would be your second or third column, Reza, what is that?
R: Second or third column? Are you counting the subject?
B: NO, just the infinitive, so, for example, go, went, gone.
R: Oh, sorry.
B: So, where’s the past participle?
R: In the third column.
B: Yeah, third column, so past participle.
C: So, have or has and the past participle. Examples: I have been to Rome.
C: Have you been to Rome?
R: No, I haven’t.
C: So, that’s the negative, Reza hasn’t, he hasn’t been to Rome.
B: I have. I’ve been to Rome, yeah.
R: Did you enjoy it?
B: It was ok, it wasn’t brilliant cause the weather was really bad, you know, but I’ve been.
C: Good, ok.
R: I slept in a past simple there, as you have to, once you get specific.
C: It’s quite common. I have been to Rome. When did you go?
B: That’s true and that’s a problem for Spanish speakers, especially if you’re translating from Spanish.
C: So, I was thinking, I’ve been thinking…
B: Good one.
C: Continuous, present perfect continuous.
B: Adventurous there.
C: Let’s take it slowly. The difference in use between the Spanish pretérito perfecto and the English present perfect. Now, I don’t know if you agree, but my students tend to overuse the present perfect in English, when they say something like “I’ve said before”, which in Spanish you’d say “He dicho antes”. Is that wrong in English, to say that? As I’ve said.
B: I think it is wrong, I mean, my students in class, and it’s quite a high level class, I still get students saying “What has she said”.
B: And you think no, no, no. I’m not saying it now, I stopped saying it, when I said it was a few months ago, so the action is finished.
C: Past simple.
B: So, it should be past simple.
C: What did you say.
B: What did you say. The problem is, if you’re thinking in Spanish and translating, that’s a kind of mistake, Craig, that students and you sometimes make.
C: In Spanish. Yeah, yeah, I do, I overuse, have you noticed that?
B: I certainly have.
C: Not that we speak much in Spanish, together.
B: No, but I’ve heard you say it.
C: But I think I overuse, you know why?
C: I’m not very sure of my Spanish past simple verbs, I don’t really know them well and it’s easier for me to use the preterito perfecto when I’m speaking about the past than to choose the past tense of the Spanish verb.
B: I know this isn’t anything connected to the present perfect really but when you do make a mistake, for example with the present perfect, would you like somebody to correct you?
B: All the time?
C: Yeah, I can’t promise I’ll autocorrect, I can’t promise I’ll take it on board because I got these ingrained errors, what’s that, ingrained errors?
B; Errores adquiridos.
C: It’s very difficult for me to correct the bad Spanish I’ve been speaking for years, but I do like it when people correct me.
B: Ok, I’ll bear that in mind.
C: Thank you, please do.
B: I’ll take into account for next time when I hear you make a present perfect mistake, preterito perfecto error.
C: We should speak more in Spanish.
C; OK, so that’s one thing. Also, I’ve got some exampes here of when you’d use preterito perfecto and in English past simple, for example “Ha llegado hace un rato”.
B: Oh, yeah.
C: She arrived a little while ago. That’s a tricky one.
B: But not really tricky though when you think about it, because ago is a word which is 99,9 of the time going to go with the past simple, so a good thing to remember is just to think ok, forget my Spanish, ago past simple, forget the translation.
B: Because that’s the problem, the moment you begin translating from Spanish into English with present perfect you’re gonna have problems.
C: Exactly. Another example, “Cuando lo he visto, no he podido creerlo”. “When I saw it I couldn’t believe it”.
R: Yeah, it has to be past simple.
B: Yeah, definitely, because you stopped seeing it, you saw it once in the past.
C: Ok, good point.
C: Moving on, Reza, should we speak a bit about time expressions?
R: With the present perfect? Yeah.
C: With the present perfect.
R: So, the typical words which go with present perfect are still, already, just and yet. For example, what could I say… “I’ve already visited Cuba but I want to visit again a second time in the future, because I liked it so much”. I’ve already visited Cuba, so already is going there with the present perfect. I’ve visited and it means it’s done, it’s finished, it’s an action which has been done. It was a positive sentence, what about a negative? I could say “I haven’t visited Argentina yet, but I plan to go soon”. I haven’t visited Argentina yet, haven’t visited yet, so yet goes with the present perfect for a negative, usually.
C: And yet would be aún? O todavía?
R: Could be either, couldn’t it?
B: Could be either.
R: In that case it could be either. Bea, I got a question for you.
B: Oh, oh…
R: Have you visited latin America yet? Or are you waiting…
B: I have! No, I went to latin America about ten years ago.
C: Where did you go?
B: To Honduras and I went to Nicaragua as well. But it wasn’t lively at the time, I mean, there was a war, so it was actually, I said ten years ago, it was when the sandinistas were around.
C: Is that when you went?
B: Yeah, to cover… Yes, yes. To do some… I went with somebody who was a press photographer.
R; So you’ve been in a warzone?
B: I have.
C: And was it, I mean, dangerous when you were there?
B: No, it was dangerous, I think there was always a risk of something happening.
C: But you weren’t in the thick…
B: But we weren’t in the thick of things, no. But, I mean, so… But yes, I have, Reza, I have been to latin America.
R: Aha, have you already been?
B: I’ve already been.
C: Have you been to latin America?
R: Just Cuba.
B: Did you like it?
R: I really loved it, yeah, I’d like to go back.
R: I’d like to go back, yeah. Did you notice that when I asked Bea the question I also used yet? So, that was the final part, so we had already, used in positive, and yet is usually negative or a question, usually.
C: What about still?
B: Uf, yes.
R; Well, hold on, I’ll get on to still, but there’s still more to say about already.
B: You mean you still haven’t finished?
R: I still haven’t finished, not yet.
C: He hasn’t started yet.
B: But he’s already said it five times, jaja.
R: Already is… Well, all those words can be a bit tricky. The basic rules are easy. I say already is positive, I’ve already visited Cuba. However, you can also use already in a question, Craig, you’ve travelled a lot around latin America, I know you’ve already visited Argentina, Chile, Cuba, but have you already visited Peru? I can’t remember.
C: No, I haven’t been to Peru yet.
R: Aha, so I asked you a question with already, not yet, because I kind of expect the answer to be yes, or it wouldn’t surprise me if you said yes. In that case you can use already, in a question, in the present perfect. Like, imagine you, you’ve been eating your dinner, you started a minute ago, I come back and all the food is gone, and I say “Have you already finished?”
C: Have you finished already?
R: Yeah. I’m surprised.
C: Is there a similar way of saying that in Spanish that would help listeners translate it or…
R: Would it be ya? Ya has terminado?
B: Yeah, I think the position would be important, so you say “Ya has acabado? Ya has terminado?” And I think the intonation in Spanish would carry the meaning that Reza was explaining.
C; And also would work in the negative, “NO has acabado ya?”
B: Would you say that? No has acabado ya. No.
B: I don’t think so. No has acabado ya? I think it’s “No has acabado todavía?”
C: Yeah, todavía, no has acabado todavía.
B: Don’t ask me why but it doesn’t sound good. You say, you do have problems with your present perfect, your preterito perfecto in Spanish.
C: I do, I do have problems.
B: Yes… Sort them out, jaja.
R: But you can use yet with a negative question in English. Haven’t you finished yet? You can do it in English, ok?
B: Yeah, that’s true.
R: Yeah. I noticed that you’ve been using already in different positions, yes, so listeners, did you notice that already normally goes before the past participle? I’ve already visited Cuba. But it can go at the end, can’t it?
B: Yeah, but I think that’s a good point, the position is important as well, isn’t it?
R: Yeah, I’ve visited Cuba already is also possible. Which one you say emphasizes already more, if you put it before the past participle or at the end of the clause?
B: Can you give me two examples? Because sometimes I can see it better if you give me some examples with already in different positions.
C; With adverbs of frequency, with many of these expressions, the closer it is to the beginning of the sentence the more emphasis it has.
R: What about this: “We’ve already been talking 10 minutes” and what about this… Sorry, “We’ve already been talking for ten minutes” and “We’ve been talking for ten minutes already”. Which one would you think emphasizes more…
B: I would go… I don’t know about emphasis, but it would sound more natural for me to have it at the beginning. It just doesn’t sound natural, I don’t know what you think.
C: Yeah, I agree.
B: So, I don’t know if it’s a question or emphasis or whether…
R: Well, it’s not wrong to put it at the end though, is it? At the end of the clause.
B: We’ve been talking for five minutes already. I’m not sure if it’s wrong, it’s a really good question.
C: No, I would say that, but I agree that it’s more common to put it earlier in the sentence, yeah. I’ve already been, yeah.
R: Maybe it’s a question of spoken and written English, maybe it’s a little bit common to write already at the end, or…
B: I’m not sure, well, it might be. I’d just stick to, sort of not putting it at the end, just keeping it where we thought it might be, at the beginning.
C: Anyway, tell us about still.
C: You still haven’t told us about still.
B: We’re still waiting.
C: We’re still waiting.
R: OK. Well, still I think it’s a really tricky word for Spanish people. I’ve been doing the easiest part at first, it gets harder because I think still is particularly tricky if you’re Spanish. Well, it’s tricky for anybody but the fact it… I only remember this when I studied myself that we used still with the present perfect but only when it’s negative or a negative question. Think about it. We don’t use still as a positive in present perfect. You can’t say “Have you still finished your homework?” No, you can’t say that.
C: But you would with other tenses, for example, with present continuous, you’re waiting.
R: Yes, exactly, I say with present perfect.
B: Yeah, that’s really good, that’s an important point.
R: Yeah, you can say “Are you still doing your homework?”. But with present perfect still is only negative or a negative question.
B: Yeah, you’re right.
R; For example, Craig still hasn’t visited Disneyland, though I think you might in the future. It’s a dream that he has.
C: Yeah, I’ve always wanted to see Mickey Mouse, so I’m saving up my money to go to Disneyland.
R: So, Craig still hasn’t visited, aún no ha visitado.
C: You won’t let me forget that.
R: I won’t let you forget Mickey Mouse, ever.
B: Is it one of your fantasies?
C: No, we just, it came up…
B: Oh, ok.
R: I think of an example and it’s always about Disneyland.
B: Very clever.
R: Bu you could say Craig hasn’t visited yet, it’s the same as Craig still hasn’t visited, sorry, Craig still hasn’t visited Disneyland is the same as Craig hasn’t visited Disneyland yet.
B: Exactly, yeah.
R: So, still as a negative means the same as yet as a negative.
C: That’s important to know.
R: Still can also be used in a negative question, for example a parent might say to their son or daughter “Have you still not tidied your room? I asked you one hour ago to do it but you haven’t done it yet”. So, a negative question, have you still not tidied your room.
B: But, I think, I mean, that’s a really good example and I think it would be very good if you could actually emphasize the still, you STILL not finished your homework. Because if you say have you still not finished your homework it doesn’t mean much.
R: I’m STILL waiting for…
B: Exactly, so if you kind of use still in that particular sentence, give it a bit of emphasis.
C; Give it more power.
B: Exactly, power to still…
C: Power to still. Anything else, Reza?
R: Well, just about the word still, it’s added to give emphasis. You STILL haven’t done it? I asked you to an hour ago and you haven’t done it. Craig STILL hasn’t visited Disneyland, a surprise because he’s obsessed with Mickey Mouse.
R: So, still haven’t visited? After all this time. It’s for emphasis or surprise.
C; I’m still waiting for Reza to stop mentioning Mickey Mouse.
B; And I still don’t understand what’s going on.
C: On the subject, before we leave time expressions. So, we’ve said that since and for often go with present perfect. Still, yet and already, we’ve just explained. Any other thought on time expression? I’ve got here ever and never.
R: Well, I was gonna talk about just, cause it’s so common.
C Just and recently, yeah.
R: Well, just with present perfect is very common in English. The thing is, as far as I know, it’s completely different in Spanish. For example, if I said to you “Pete was here a minute ago but now he isn’t here. He’s just gone”.
C: He’s just gone, he’s just left.
R: He’s just gone. In Spanish he’s just gone I think would be acabo de ir.
B: Yeah, you’d say Pete se acaba de ir.
R: Definitely not present perfect in Spanish, definitely not. So, just with present perfect tends to be acabar de in Spanish, so it’s completely different.
C; And it’s very common, I’ve just finished, I’ve just had dinner, I’ve just had coffee.
C: He’s just been here.
C: Also, so far. I’ve had three coffees so far, would be hasta ahora.
B: Yeah, so the same as already?
B: Could we say that so far and already are more or less, they have the same meaning, and maybe so far is more common in informal register, so when you’re speaking informally. He hasn’t given me any homework so far.
C: Yeah, he hasn’t done any writing so far this term.
R: So, you mean, yeah, as well, it can mean already or yet.
R: Yeah, either, hasn’t done any homework so far.
C; Would be in Spanish todavía…
B: Hasta ahora no ha hecho ningún trabajo, ningñun deber.
R: From your example sentences it seems to be that so far either goes at the beginning or at the end of the clause, not up in the middle?
R: Yeah, it seems to be, whereas already goes in the middle or it can go in the middle.
C: Moving on, I think it’s important quickly to discuss the difference between present perfect simple and present perfect continuous.
C: Reza, how long have you been teaching?
R: I’ve been teaching for 20 years.
B: I can beat, that, I’ve been teaching for 25 years.
B: At the British Council.
C: I’ve been teaching for 20, so between us we’ve got 65 years.
B: We have a pension jaja.
C: That’s really scary, jaja. So, yeah, present perfect continuous. I’ve been teaching for 20 years. I’ve taught in Spain, France, Thailand and the UK, so how would you explain why I chose present perfect simple? I’ve taught in different countries and I’ve been teaching for 20 years.
R: Tricky question.
B: But you have the answer.
R: I don’t know… After 20 years, 25 years, we should have the answer, shouldn’t we?
B: I think I have the answer.
C: Ok, Bea, over to Bea.
B: Over to me. Well, your first question, how long have you been teaching, it’s because, I mean, for example, I’m gonna ask Craig, Reza, the question again, how long have you been teaching English. MY first question is, are you a teacher now?
R: Yes, I am.
B: Ok, did you teach English in the past?
R: I did, yes.
B: Ok, so you began teaching in the past and you continue to be a teacher. So, one thing we could say is that the present perfect continuous is to talk about the duration, the length of an activity which began in the past and it’s true or continuous up until the present.
C: Well, that’s that common thing with siempre hay un enlace entre el pasado y el presente con el present perfect.
B: Yeah, exactly. So, I think the present perfect continuous, it would be fair to say, is for something that began in the past and continues to be in the present, so for example, how long have you been living in Valencia?
C: I’ve been living in Valencia for 15 years.
B: Ok, so you like in Valencia now, don’t you?
B: And when did you come to Valencia.
C: I came to Valencia in 1997.
B: Ok, so since 1997 until right now you began living and you continue to live, so that’s why I’m asking you the question in the present perfect continuous.
C: Right, and as far as the present perfect simple is concerned, see if you agree, when it’s repeated, individual things that happen from the past until now, that’s when you’d use the present perfect simple. For example, I could say that Valencia football club have been playing well, they have won six games this season.
B: I think that’s a different question there because you actually said the number, when you say a number…
C: I’ve taught in many countries.
B: Ok, that’s a personal experience, without the time reference, but the one you gave about Valencia… So, for example, I’ve written three letters today. I mean, you’re using the present perfect because you’re actually mentioning a number.
C; A number.
B: Not the duration of an activity, but the number.
C: So, the present perfect continuous the focus is on the activity and the present perfect simple it could be on the experience you’ve had over a period of time or a number of things that have happened, which could also be used with many, for example, I’ve lived in many different places.
B: Exactly. But again, I think the important thing is that it is an experience without a time reference.
C: Aha. Sounds good, that sounds good to me.
R: So, present perfect continuous seems to focus on the fact that there is a duration involved.
B: Aha. I think the focus is on the activity, the duration of the activity as opposed to the activity itself.
R: it doesn’t matter though whether it’s a long time or not, it doesn’t have to be a long time. For example, you could say I have lived in America and maybe you’ve lived there for 40 years, which is a long time, but it can be present perfect simple just because you’ve had that experience, I’ve lived in America.
C: I think when you’re comparing, with that example lived, when you compare the present simple and the continuous, I’ve lived here for 16 years, I’ve been living here for 16 years, I think when you choose the continuous there is that temporary idea behind it and with the present perfect simple it has the idea of more permanence.
B: But you’ve got three, I mean, that example with live, study and work, those three verbs are each interchangeable, so you can use them with the present perfect simple or the continuous.
C: But with the same meaning.
B: The same meaning, so I can say to you I’ve lived in Valencia for 20 years or I’ve been living in Valencia for 20 years. I’ve worked at the British Council for 25 years, I’ve been working in Valencia. Ok? So live and work, they’re interchangeable, but not with other verbs.
R: But I would say there is a slight difference of focus, although they’re interchangeable. If you say I’ve lived in Valencia for 15 years, present perfect simple, you’re focusing on the fact that 15 years have been completed, whereas I’ve been living in Valencia for 15 years ok, 15 years over, but you’re living here now and you can…
C: And there’s perhaps that idea of continuity. But it’s definitely not a time thing, it’s definitely not más corto continuous and más largo present simple.
B: No, that’s not.
C; Let me throw two more examples at you. I’ve been painting the house, I’ve painted the house.
B: Ah, that’s an interesting one. If Reza says to me I’ve been painting the house.
C: I doubt it very much, jaja.
B: I could doubt too, but let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.
C: More like I have the house painted.
B: If I say to you, Craig, Reza’s been painting the house, what evidence do I have when I look at him that this might be the case?
C: Paint on his hair, paint on his glasses, paint on his clothes and a messy flat.
B: Absolutely, ok, so… And if I say to you, oh, Reza’s painted his house.
C: It looks lovely.
B: Because he’s finished it.
C: Because he’s finished it.
R: I would say with the present perfect continuous I may or may not have finished it, it’s not clear.
B: True, yeah.
R: he has been painting and he hasn’t finished or he’s been painting and he’s just finished.
B: We don’t know, do we? But either way, I think, you know, we’ve got evidence that, been doing something.
R: Yeah, it’s up to more or less now… You’ve got evidence that it’s up to now or up to more or less now or up to more or less recently.
R: Present perfect continuous, yeah, up to recently or now.
C: Is there anything else you’d like to add about this present perfect simple / present perfect continuous comparisons?
B: Shall we have a look at a couple of translations into Spanish?
B: So, for example, if I say to you…
C: Are you gonna test my Spanish now?
B: Yeah, yes, really, ok, first question, ok?
C: Jaja, for five points.
B: No, I’ll give you one point because I’m not feeling very generous, exactly. Craig, how would you say in Spanish I’ve been living in Valencia for 20 years?
C: Llevo 20 años viviendo en Valencia.
C: Ha sido 20 años…
B: Ohhh, no, Reza, what do you think?
R: Vivo aquí desde hace 20 años.
B: Very good, one point.
C: One point to Reza.
C: But I have got down in my notes that very often you’d say llevo when in English you would use present perfect continuous. I’ve been looking for the dog for two days, llevo dos días buscando al perro.
C: And what did you say?
B: He was very good.
R: Vivo aqui desde hace 20 años.
C: Vivo aqui desde hace 20 años, I’ve been living here…
R: Completely different structure.
B: Completely different. That’s what happens, if you have a student who thinks in Spanish and says what Reza just said, then the English translation would be I live here during 20 years.
C; Which I hear very often.
B: Oh, yeah, or since 20 years ago.
C: Or since.
B: Do you mean since Craig?
C: Jaja, yeah, it’s very common.
B: Yeah. How do you like these biscuits? They’re hideous.
B: Can’t believe it.
R: We’ve just discovered that Bea doesn’t like fig rolls, I can’t believe it.
B: I haven’t ever tried a fig roll, and it’s the first and last time, they’re disgusting.
C: Son galletas de higo.
B: Son asquerosas.
R: It’s a very British thing, isn’t it? Fig rolls, is very British.
C: I’ve never eaten a fig roll in my life.
C: Until I met you.
R: Really? What about, do you know a similar biscuit called Garibaldi?
R: I love them too.
B: OH, God!
C: Like cardboard with dead flies.
B: I associate those biscuits with old people.
C: Yeah, my nan.
B: Exactly, you wouldn’t think that Reza was only 25.
C: Fig rolls, they do age you!
B: They do.
C: Anyway, shall we wrap this up?
B: Yeah, good idea.
C: Thank you very much Bea for coming on to this episode and thank you to Reza.
B: A pleasure, nice to meet you.
C: Have another fig roll.
B: No, thank you, all yours, all Reza’s.
C: We’ll see you in the next episode.
The music in this podcast is by Pitx, the track is called See you later, licensed by Creative Commons under a by-nc license at cc mixter.org.