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Do these sentences have the same meaning and can they be interchanged?

Workers have recently worked on the system.

Workers have recently been working on the system.

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No, not at all. The following link describes it well with diagrams:

http://blog.esllibrary.com/2013/12/12/past-perfect-vs-past-perfect-progressive/

  • Workers have recently worked on the system. The workers have finished their task and at the time this statement was made, were no longer working on the system.

  • Workers have recently been working on the system. The workers may have still been working on the sentence AT THE TIME this statement was made.

  • I made a mistake, the sentences are supposed to be : They had recently worked on the system and they had recently been working on the system. I am confused because the past perfect progressive can also be used for an action that had stopped shortly before another event. – anouk Apr 7 '18 at 16:56
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First of all, recently indicates the time near the present, not a long ago, whereas the past perfect would indicate actions that were completed before some point in the past.So, IMHO it`s not correct to use this adverb with the past perfect tenses.

  • It is an excerpt from a newspaper article where there had been an accident with a train derailing and before the accident happened "workers had recently been working on the system." (quote from the article) – anouk Apr 8 '18 at 9:54
  • @anouk Did you read carefully what I wrote ? What Im trying to say is that, since this adverb related to near the present time, its not advisable to use it with the past perfect tenses. They have been working on the system recently - makes sense to me. They had been working- means that shows that an action that started in the past continued up until another time in the past. How can this type of activity correlate to the present time ? The past perfect continuous would indicate such an activity, which started in the past, has been in progress for some time and then ended also in the past. – Beqa Apr 9 '18 at 7:52
  • like I said it is from an article in an American newspaper, I didn't write it. – anouk Apr 9 '18 at 18:41

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