Reply to "Present perfect simple or progressive"

egyptian2017 posted:


I  .......  two letters for three hours.

have written
have been writting

Hi, Egyptian2017,

I agree with Gustavo's explanation and would simply like to add that because "for" is used (rather than "in") "have written" is impossible. The sentence "I have written two letters for three hours" makes no sense whatsoever. It doesn't make any sense to say that one has gone through an entire writing process two times for a specific duration of time. You could, however, use the indefinite plural:

  • I have written letters for three hours.
  • I have been writing letters for three hours.

The difference between the present perfect and the present perfect progressive in those two sentences is that the present perfect indicates that the letter writing is probably finished ("I have written letters for three hours and must now attend to other business") and the present perfect progressive that the letter writing is continuing ("I have been writing letters for three hours and need a break").

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