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Past continuous vs. Past perfect continuous

27 Dec 2012 /  #1
Hi :) My name is Kamila, Im from Poland.

I have a problem with grammar, I don't understand the difference between past continuous and past perfect continuous.

I want to write a sentence (from polish) "Czekałam na ciebie już bardzo długo i wiem, że było warto" and Im not sure which version is better: I was waiting for you for such a long time and it was worth or I have been waiting for you for such a long time.... Are they both correct?

Thank you!
27 Dec 2012 /  #2
If you have been waiting until NOW, then you would use the present perfect continuous:

Present perfect continuous: I have been waiting for you for such a long time and I know that it's been worth it.

That's because you started waiting in the past and you continued to wait until the present.

You would use the past perfect continuous if you had also finished waiting at some point in the past:

Past perfect continuous: I had been waiting for you until it got dark, but you never showed up.

And you would generally use the past continuous if something happened at the same time as you were waiting.

Past continuous: I was waiting for you when my phone rang.
OP Evanosh  
27 Dec 2012 /  #3
So none of them are really correct for me :D Hihi :)
Well I want to say that I... eeem... waited for a long time in the past
Could you suggest me what is the best way to say this sentence?
27 Dec 2012 /  #4
I think the simplest way is this:

I've waited for you for so long, but now I know it was worth it.

Unless you want to emphasise something in particular, or there's a story and a context in which another tense would fit in snugly, present perfect sounds just fine :)

There's no need to overcomplicate things.
4 Jan 2013 /  #5
I was waiting for you.... = ......but I no longer am.

I have been waiting for you.. = and you're not here yet.

I had been waiting for you... = until the phone rang and you were on the line.


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