For the past several days, I was unable to get access to the internet.

Should I use past tense or past perfect continuous tense if at the time of writing, the internet access problem has already been resolved?

  • 1
    Is your question about the past tense versus the present perfect tense? If not, please show the alternative that you are inquiring about. Jun 29, 2020 at 19:14

1 Answer 1


In these two sentences

I was unable to get access to the internet for several days.
I have been unable to get access to the internet for several days.

the first means the problem was resolved, the second means you still cannot connect,
and in the next two phrases, the first (that you used) can be simplified to the second

unable to get access to the internet
unable to access the internet

  • The drive-by downvoter strikes again. The up/down voting cues say "is / is not useful". So I suppose this isn't useful. Jun 29, 2020 at 19:37
  • I dislike the drive-by downvoter, who seems to have a great aversion to me. Your answer looks fine to me. Hesto presto the negative disappears. Jun 30, 2020 at 19:27
  • @JeffMorrow thanks, perhaps it was because of my aversion to mentioning tenses, as asked. Jun 30, 2020 at 19:31
  • Well the question as asked made very little sense: of what relevance is the past perfect continuous tense? Jun 30, 2020 at 19:45
  • I'm not going to down vote, but the difference in tenses does not indicate whether access to the Internet was resolved. The first sentence communicates that the attempt to get accesses has ended, where as the second communicates the attempt is ongoing. Thus "Did you upload your paper?" "No, I was unable get access to the Internet for several days." "Are you going to try again today?" "No, but perhaps I'll have connectivity tomorrow and will be able." It's the right tense to use if it HAS been resolved, but the tense itself doesn't indicate one way or the other.
    – J D
    Mar 18 at 4:45

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