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unfinished or finished action?
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I would like to ask why the following is considered to be a finished action " They've never heard of Alexandre Pires. " while this sentence " She hasn't been playing many concerts lately." is considered to be an unfinished one. I ask because they are stated in the Summit 1 - Longman Pearson Teacher's Edition and Lesson Planner page 17.

I don't understand why the present perfect in "have never heard" is finished. I think "have never heard' is an unfinished action becuase up to now they still do not hear of Alexandre Pires.

Thank you so much.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Tony Ck,
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quote:
I would like to ask why the following is considered to be a finished action " They've never heard of Alexandre Pires. " while this sentence " She hasn't been playing many concerts lately." is considered to be an unfinished one. I ask because they are stated in the Summit 1 - Longman Pearson Teacher's Edition and Lesson Planner page 17.

I don't understand why the present perfect in "have never heard" is finished. I think "have never heard' is an unfinished action becuase up to now they still do not hear of Alexandre Pires.

In many cases, both the present perfect and the present perfect progressive can be used with the same or almost the same meaning. This would be true of the verb "play" in your second example sentence:

1) She hasn't been playing many concerts lately =
2) She hasn't played many concerts lately.

It is true that 1 emphasizes the continuous action of her periodic playing in concerts, but really, the sentences do mean the same.
_______

As for ""They've never heard of Alexandre Pires," the verb is different.

"To hear of someone" means to have knowledge of that person's existence. This kind of verb – one that means know or hear of, and a few others don't appear in the progressive.

In addition, there is the word "never" in "They've never heard of." "Never" doesn't appear in the present perfect progressive:

I've never been eating sushi.  I've never eaten sushi.
She has never been sleeping in a tent.  She have never slept in a tent.
She has never been playing many concerts  She hasn't been playing many concerts / She has never played many concerts.
_______

"Never" means up to a certain point; that's why the action is considered finished, at least for the moment. "Lately" means recently, but there is an opportunity to do this action again. (This is not true for verbs like know.

And, because of "lately," you wouldn't have "never" in the same sentence. So, the sentence about playing the piano is either 1) or 2) above.

RA
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Thank you Rachel

But when my students said that when someone says " I have never heard of Tom." he means he has never heard of Tom up to now, so the action not finished because he still has no news from Tom and this may continue.

I couldn't say I wouldn't agree with them, at that point.
Can you help me explain?

Thank you.
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You might try these ideas:

The word "never" is important. "Never" goes with the present perfect, not the present perfect progressive.

"Never" with the present perfect ends the action; there isn't a possibility to continue.

In addition, "hear of" is like "know," and doesn't appear in the present perfect progressive.

I hope this helps,Tony C. Let us know.
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Thank you very much for your help Rachel.

I tried but my students said like this:

I have never heard of him means in the past I didn't hear of him, now I don't hear of him and maybe in the future I will not hear of him. So this is an unfinished action, not a finished one.

I think they are rational. (we all agree that never is used with present perfect, not with present perfect continuous,)

Can you help me again? Thank you so much.
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Pleased stay tuned. I'll try to organize my thoughts into a persuasive argument for your students.
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First, try the sentence with "lately" with the present perfect and the present perfect progressive:

I haven't heard of him lately.
I haven't been hearing of him lately. (meaning "I haven't been getting news of him lately.")

Both of these sentences work with "lately."

"Lately" also goes with your sentences about playing in concerts:

She hasn't played in concerts lately.
She hasn't been playing in concerts lately.
_______

Now, the situation is different with "never." "Never," as we have agreed, goes with the present perfect but not the present perfect progressive.

I have never heard of him.
I have never been hearing of him lately.

She has never played in concerts.
She has never been playing in concerts/

_______

We can conclude that "lately" can go with most verbs in the both the present perfect and the present perfect progressive.

We can also conclude that "never" can go with most verbs in the present perfect but not with verbs in the present perfect progressive.

Marcella Frank* states:

"The present perfect progressive form normally does not occur with words like just, already, ever, never, finally."
_______

(Since "know" is not included in your original sentence, and has even more restrictions, let's drop "know" for now and just address the tenses of your two sentences, focusing on "lately" and "never" with "hear of" and "play.")

Sometimes certain vocabulary items are more important than the general rules. In this case, the time words "never" and "lately" are more important than the general rules. I think you can tell your students this.

Rachel
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*Modern English, A Practical Reference, Second Edition, by Marcella Frank. Regents / Prentice Hall. 1992
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Thank you very much for your effort, Rachel.
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Let us know when you find something better, Tony C.
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