1) This is the first time I am walking down this road.

2) This is the first time I have walked down this road.

Which one would one use if one was walking down that road?

3) This is the first time I am eating a hamburger in years.

4)  This is the first time I have eaten  a hamburger in years.

Which one would one use if one was eating that hamburger?

Gratefully,

Navi

Original Post
navi posted:

1) This is the first time I am walking down this road.
2) This is the first time I have walked down this road.

Which one would one use if one was walking down that road?

3) This is the first time I am eating a hamburger in years.
4)  This is the first time I have eaten  a hamburger in years.

Which one would one use if one was eating that hamburger?

Hello, Navi,

One would use (2) and (4). I find (1) and (3) incorrect, if not ungrammatical. If you want to use the present progressive, use a different construction:

(1a) I am walking down this road for the first time.
(3a) I am eating a hamburger for the first time in years.

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Thank you very much, David,

Would you say that the sentence:

5) This is the first time I have repaired a bicycle.

is inherently ambiguous and could mean either that the repair is on-going (and may not be concluded) or that the bicycle has been repaired?

Maybe one shouldn't use '5' in the first case and use

5a) I am repaired a bicycle for the first time.

Gratefully,

Navi

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navi posted:

Would you say that the sentence:

5) This is the first time I have repaired a bicycle.

is inherently ambiguous and could mean either that the repair is on-going (and may not be concluded) or that the bicycle has been repaired?

Maybe one shouldn't use '5' in the first case and use

5a) I am repairing a bicycle for the first time.

Hello again, Navi,

I made a slight change to your (5a), but I think my (5a) is how you meant to type it. You can change it if you like. In answer to your question, I actually think that (5) itself works quite well in both contexts.

You're right that (5) is ambiguous as to whether the repair is ongoing or just finished, but I don't think that's a bad thing. The "ongoing" interpretation may, I think, be paraphrased like this:

• This is the first time I have engaged in the act of repairing a bicycle.
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