My daughter wrote

Sarah has been reading books about gardening.

I am a little confused as to how to categorize this. Can it be considered Present tense? Is this sentence acceptable?

  • 2
    "Has been reading" is the present perfect continuous tense of the verb to read. Your daughter writes well in English. Can you tell us what led you to think otherwise, or why you thought the verb might be in the present tense? (To learn how to conjugate the irregular verb to read in English, follow this link.) – P. E. Dant Oct 4 '16 at 2:24
  • Thank you for taking the time to answer! She got this sentence marked wrong on a test where had to present. The main sentence was "Sarah reads books about gardening. She needed to write it in present. – Ana Oct 4 '16 at 2:54
  • 1
    If we had more context, such as the complete question from the exam, we could provide more help. Can you use the edit link under the question to add this context? The sentence is perfectly grammatical, but may not be the correct answer. For instance, if the question was "What is Sarah doing right now?" and it included a picture of Sarah reading a book, the answer would be incorrect. (Note also that teachers are not infallible! Is your daughter's teacher a native English speaker?) – P. E. Dant Oct 4 '16 at 3:34
  • 1
    If the test required your daughter to write in the simple present, that would be: Sarah reads books about gardening. But note that the question may have been unclear, or written by a non-native English speaker. The sentence she wrote is in one of the present tenses, but not in the simple present. – P. E. Dant Oct 4 '16 at 6:10
  • It seems kind of unfair to state the question sentence in the simple present tense and ask to convert to present tense. I call void the question on this one. – cst1992 Oct 4 '16 at 10:54

Yes, it's acceptable and part of present tenses grammatically.

There're four present tense forms:

Present simple/simple present: Sarah reads books about gardening.

Present continuous: Sarah is reading books about gardening.

Present perfect: Sarah has read books about gardening.

Present perfect continuous: Sarah has been reading books about gardening.

Please bear in mind that the action (reading the books) in your example, has been done from a point in the past until now.

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