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Mr. Louise was asking after the health of my brother who has been suffering from typhoid for the past few weeks.

I have a question about the bold part. Should it be has been or had been?

Case 1: When I'm telling this, it has been a few weeks of my brother's illness and Mr. Louise asked about him sometime during that period. So it would be has been suffering.

Case 2: Mr. Louise asked after his health when it was already few weeks past since the beginning of the ailment. So in this case it should be had been suffering.

Am I thinking right or not?

  • Your thinking is correct! The present perfect continuous is appropriate in Case 1, abd the past perfect continuous is appropriate in Case 2. – P. E. Dant Oct 30 '16 at 21:18
  • @Mari-LouA Louise is also a surname, and it is not idiomatic to use an honorific with a given name... – P. E. Dant Oct 30 '16 at 21:21
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If your brother continues to suffer, has been suffering.

If your brother is cured, or if he died, had been suffering.

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