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Discourse analysis is a required component when you study literature in
France. I remember being amazed at how much emotional value is added to
language in something seemingly as simple as verb tense.
Newspapers are not netural: they don't just state the facts; they present
the facts in such a way that the readership will accept the message as fact
because it fits with their view of the world. The editorial staff know
exactly what they are doing to get people to keep reading that specific
In this case, using past present perfect continuous imbibes a sense of
tradition and builds a practice/product/service/company as 'the done thing'
that you should also participate in:
Families have been using the swimming pool since its grand opening. (and
you should too)
or it paints adds drama and poignancy to 'sad' stories:
The number of families living under the poverty line has been increasing in
this city since the July 2007. (and it's going to keep getting worse)
On 27 September 2012 13:56, sphilip <philstokes03 -at- googlemail -dot- com> wrote:
> > On Thu, 27 Sep 2012 04:21:19 -0400, Debbie Hemstreet <
> D_Hemstreet -at- rambam -dot- health -dot- gov -dot- il> wrote:
> >> In a world where people want a minimum of words, why on earth would
> anyone use
> >> Past Perfect Simple Tense: The families have been using...
> >> Instead of
> >> Past Simple Tense: The families used...
> >> Throughout an entire article.
> Well….first that's neither past perfect nor is it simple tense. It is in
> fact present perfect continuous tense.
> Why would anyone use it? Maybe to signify that the action began at some
> unspecified time in the past and is still continuing at the time of
> writing. The simple past tense is used for actions that began at some
> specified time in the past and were completed at that time. A lot of native
> speakers understand very little about why they use the tenses they do, even
> though they tend to use them correctly and consistently (most of the time),
> even if unconsciously. ESL learners, who learn grammar by rule rather than
> imitation, tend to have a better grasp of their function and meaning.
> If you want to know more about why people use present perfect continuous,
> have a look at
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