1

My boss just asked me which task I was working on yesterday, and which one I will be working on today. I wanted to reply that I was working on the same task, but the sentence structure seemed awkward to me.

"Yesterday and today, I will be working on (task-name)"

What is the correct way to express this?

3
  • 7
    I've been working on the task since yesterday noon. – Hot Licks Jan 26 '17 at 18:49
  • 2
    @HotLicks Or even better - I'm continuing today with the same task I was on yesterday. – WS2 Jan 26 '17 at 19:23
  • 1
    What I would say if my boss asked me that, I'd just use present continuous: "I'm working on Task A." That covers yesterday and today quite nicely. – Robusto Jan 26 '17 at 21:12
1

In American English, one way of expressing this would be:

I'm continuing to work on [task name].

You could also say:

I've been working on [task name].

The former focuses a bit more on what you're doing today, the latter on what you did yesterday. However, in context, both formulations express that the task is ongoing, and would be understood as referring to both days.

2
  • Thanks for the answer. Does the second way imply that I will be working on the task today? It seems to me as if it only expresses that I was working on the task before, but not that I will continue to work on it today. – Alberto Rivera Jan 26 '17 at 18:26
  • As I said in the answer, in context it does carry that implication. Have been working on is different from worked on, after all. – verbose Jan 26 '17 at 18:39
1

I have been working on ______ since yesterday.

I started ____ yesterday and will likely be able to finish it today.

1

Tense: Present Perfect Continuous

We form the Present Perfect Continuous like this:

I have been working on (task) since yesterday. (= You started working on the task yesterday and you are still working on the same task)

We use the Present Perfect Continuous for an action or situation that begun in the past and continues until now:

You have been sitting there since five o'clock. (=You started sitting there at five o'clock and you are still sitting there.)

0

The single best verb tense in this situation is the present perfect continuous (have been + verbroot +-ing), which is used to describe actions that began in the past but have continued to the present moment and may not yet be completed.

http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/quick-grammar/present-perfect-simple-and-present-perfect-continuous

http://www.ef.com/english-resources/english-grammar/present-perfect-continuous/

I have been working on [task name].

or (using a contraction)

I've been working on [task name].

so:

Boss: What did you work on yesterday, and what will you be working on today?

You: I've been working on [task name].

Note: Strictly speaking, if you say here that you "have been working on" a particular task, although it means that you already worked on the task yesterday and today, it does not necessarily mean that you will also continue to work on the same task later today. It just means that you started working on the task in the past, continued working on it until now, and, in this case, you have not yet completed it. (It could mean, as one example, that you will now do something else for the rest of the day and then resume working on the task next week.)

But apart from that very strict interpretation, in the particular scenario described in the original question if you only said "I have been working on [task name]" in response to your boss' question, your boss would reasonably conclude that your plan was to continue working on the same task later today.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.