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As I buy many records from Australia, I have an Australian friend who collects all the records bought there (I live in France) Today I received an email from my friend, he wanted to know if he could send them now (as he had a lot of). I answered "yes" and wrote:

I hope it has not been taking/ has taken too much of your spare time."

What is the best solution? I thought present perfect continuous was better because it is ongoing situation. May be taken present perfect simple is better as "too much" could be equivalent to a quantity (as in the sentence I have written 6 letters this morning) but I want to emphasize the continuity of this action.

3 Answers 3

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If you want to emphasize the continuity of the action, "has not been taking" is clearly better than "has taken".

If you expect to continue this arrangement, though, you might use

"I hope it is not taking too much of your spare time".

I believe that's the present continuous tense, sometimes called present imperfect. Regardless it offers your acknowledgement of using their time, while subtly indicating that you intend to keep doing so.

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To talk about actions and situations that have continued up to the present, you may use both the simple present perfect and the present perfect continuous :

I hope it has not taken too much of your spare time.

I hope it has not been taking too much of your spare time.

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  • Yes, but 1) is merely said in the present whereas 2) emphasizes the activity of taking up time.
    – Lambie
    Jun 23 at 19:57
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  1. I hope it has not been taking too much of your spare time.

Implies the activity is still taking time at present.

  1. I hope it has not taken too much of your spare time.

The activity is over and we don't know when in the past it was done, just that at the present time, it is finished.

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