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If someone asks me, 'Are you tired', can I reply him:

'Yes, I'm very tired. I was doing my homework.'

I ask because I have seen people use present perfect continuous tense and past continuous tense interchangeably in this kind of context.

  • I think it is OK, but I would expect some context to connect doing homework with being tired (because I don't think homework automatically makes one tired) . Ex. "Yes, I'm very tired. I was doing my homework, but it took me over 6 hours to finish it." This also allows for a better flow from past to present. – user3169 Aug 11 '17 at 20:13
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Yes, you can answer in such a way. I was doing my homework is the reason why you are tired now.

When somebody asks you, "Are you tired?" they mean now. Your reply correctly answers the question by using the Present Simple tense. Next you can either use the Past Simple or Past Continuous tense to include the reason from the past or the Present Perfect or Present Perfect Continuous to include a reason that finished very close to the time of speaking or today.

| improve this answer | |
  • I can't understand why this is being downvoted – unless maybe some folks feel it should either be substantiated more, or else left as a comment? I don't think it's inaccurate... – J.R. Aug 11 '17 at 9:59
  • @J.R. Hi can you please clear it to me? Can I say what I wrote above as a reply? – user250189 Aug 11 '17 at 10:06

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