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Can run (intransitive) be used in Present/Past Perfect Continuous?

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  • Johnny English
    Participant
    18 August, 2018 at 21:20
    • Total posts: 1

    Dear English speakers,

    Could you please help me get the following:

    In sentences employing common Present/Past Perfect Continuous time expressions like for/over the last year etc.

    e.g.
    1. Even though I have run a huge corporation for almost a decade now…
    2. Yet for 12 years I have run a Web site promoting human rights at home and abroad.
    3. For the past several years I have run a nonprofit the purpose of which is to make possible mentoring opportunities for undergraduates.
    4. Over the last year I have run twelve workshops on creative writing.

    Why Present Perfect Simple (not Continuous) is used? Are they interchangeable in this context? My grammar reference book says they are not, but I don’t see why. Besides, I’ve found this example:
    I have been running a campaign- all Japanese businessmen and their families who are moving into this country, to be good citizens in the community.

    On the contrary, the following sentence is clear to me and arouses no doubts:

    But where I live (and I have run[/b] a carefully controlled survey involving a cross-section of a good three people on this tricky subject), November is indubitably a winter month.[/i]

    Why running a survey, a workshop or a business requires the Continuous aspect?

    I would really appreciate your help!

    dan
    Moderator
    22 August, 2018 at 13:13
    • Total posts: 768

    Hi

    Very often, present perfect simple and present perfect continuous can both be used, with no real difference in meaning. When we use them with “for” and “since” we are talking about an action that is not finished, and focusing on how long the action has lasted.

    So let’s look at the examples:

    Even though I have run a huge corporation for almost a decade now…
    Even though I have been running a huge corporation for almost a decade now…

    Both are possible. Very little difference in meaning. The second one might focus more on the fact that the action will continue into the future.

    Yet for 12 years I have run a Web site promoting human rights at home and abroad.
    Yet for 12 years I have been running a Web site promoting human rights at home and abroad.

    As above.

    For the past several years I have run a nonprofit the purpose of which is to make possible mentoring opportunities for undergraduates.
    For the past several years I have been running a nonprofit the purpose of which is to make possible mentoring opportunities for undergraduates.

    This is a good example to highlight this difference. Imagine seeing this sentence on a CV of someone applying for a job. The second sentence might suggest that the action will continue longer into the future. If applying for a job with another company, the person probably doesn’t want to give the impression that his current job will continue into the future!

    Over the last year I have run twelve workshops on creative writing.
    Over the last year I have been running twelve workshops on creative writing.

    This is a little different, because we don’t have “for” or “since”. The first one suggests that the twelve workshops have finished, but the period of time (the last year) hasn’t quite finished.. The second one suggests that the workshops are still continuing.

    Hope that helps a bit?

    Dan

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