have been painting vs was painting

Situation: Yesterday I painted half of my room (for any reason I’m not going to continue, maybe I’ve broken my leg). A friend of mine comes into the room the next day. He says: What’s the smell? Which of these can we use to answer and which is better? Me: I’m sorry about the smell. … Read more

Could you explain the usage of “would + perfect infinitive” in this example?

— Did you have anything to do with the things that were put on the wall there? — No, that would’ve been Sam. I’ve always seen would’ve been in conditional sentences, as in "If you were smarter, you would’ve bought it". But the usage in my example isn’t part of a conditional sentence, is it? … Read more

I haven’t been to the gym since June

I know it is right to say "I’ve gone to or been to the gym many times since June" according to the answers to my other recent question. But if I want to use the negative form, do both expressions work? I haven’t been to the gym since June. I haven’t gone to the gym … Read more

About present perfect continuous tense and present perfect tense

A : How much have we spent on food this week B : A lot. In A’s sentence, if ‘this week’ would be ‘for this week’ then, could I use the present perfect continuous tense? Instead of ‘have we spent’. For example, How much have we been spending on food for this week. Answer Yes … Read more

Past Simple or Past Perfect? Why do we use them this way in the quote?

Here is a quote from "To Kill a Mockingbird": When enough years had gone by to enable us to look back on them, we sometimes discussed the events leading to his accident. I maintain that the Ewells started it all, but Jem, who was four years my senior, said it started long before that. He … Read more

Present perfect for actions that are still ongoing or have just finished

Can present perfect be used in the following situations? Present perfect continuous is the usual choice, but do native speakers use present perfect simple too? "It has rained for two hours" = It is no longer raining. "It has rained for two hours" = It is still raining. "I have waited for two hours = … Read more

Present Perfect or Simple Past for hypothetical situations?

I wonder what verb tense I should use when I’m making hypothetical sentences. For instance: Imagine you’re writing a book with an intention in mind, and when people read your work, they get a different perspective than the one intended. It’s your fault they didn’t get/haven’t gotten your point, but yours. What if you get … Read more

I’ve been traveling quite a bit since we saw each other last Christmas

I’ve been traveling quite a bit since we saw each other last Christmas. I’ve travelled quite a bit since we saw each other last Christmas. He’s been spending a lot of time at the gym. He’s spent a lot of time at the gym. Q) What is the difference between (1) and (2), (3) and … Read more

Perfect participle of ” While Studying late at night, he fell asleep”

Would it be: Having studied late at night, he slept. Or something else? Answer Studying late at night, he slept does not make any sense because the actions were not concurrent. Having studied late at night, he slept is grammatical, but not common. In English, we tend not to rely solely on tense to specify … Read more

Should I write “has returned home” or “returned home”?

I am writing a diary to improve my English. I write it describing the situation at the end of the day. My grandmother arrived home yesterday. How should I describe this? My grandmother returned home. or My grandmother has returned home. Are both correct? Answer Both are correct, but they have different meanings. "My grandmother … Read more