Good day! I would like to ask if both sentences are correct or not. And please tell me the difference in meaning between the two.

  1. We were looking for that phone all day. I thought I lost it. (Past Progressive)
  2. We have looked for that phone all day. I thought I lost it. (Present Perfect)

Thank you!


In this context there is no significant difference in meaning. 1 is more natural than 2. "Have been looking" could also be used, but implies that the search is still ongoing, or perhaps has just ended with finding the phone, or with the person addressed producing it.

Without the second sentence, 2 suggests that the search is not yet successful, and is still ongoing.

We have looked for that phone all day. I can't imagine where it is.

says that it is not yet found, and seems quite natural to me.

  • I see. Thank you so much for your insights. It looks clearer to me now. – Enaj Culz Apr 12 '19 at 3:20
  • @Enaj Culz If you feel that an answer tells you want you want/need to know, you can accept it by clicking the check mark. You can also upvote any helpful answers by clicking on the up arrow. – David Siegel Apr 12 '19 at 3:26

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