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I've seen these sentences in the British Council website:

He was a good guitarist. He'd been playing since childhood

I'd been watching that programme since it started, but I missed the last episode

Could I say these sentences with the present perfect?

He's a good guitarist. He's been playing since childhood

I've been watching that programme since it started, but I missed the last episode.

Is there any difference that is on the way?

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The first pair of sentences:
He was a good guitarist. He'd been playing since childhood.
He's a good guitarist. He's been playing since childhood.

The first sentence speaks of someone who isn't a good guitarist any more, maybe because he is dead, because "was" is in past tense. The second speaks of a living person who is still a good guitarist.

The second pair of sentences:
I'd been watching that programme since it started, but I missed the last episode.
I've been watching that programme since it started, but I missed the last episode.

The first sentence, with "I'd been watching..." is more carefully put, but the second one isn't wrong, and the meaning is the same for both.

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  • Related to the second pair of sentences, somehow the option "I'd been watching that programme ..." does not imply that he used to watch the program until some time ago, or even a long time ago, but does not watch it anymore, while the option "I have been watching that programme ..." would mean that he has been watching the programme until very recently, or even that he still continues to watch it - although he has not yet seen the last episode? Excuse me if my question doesn't make much sense, I'm just trying to understand properly. – Itamar Jul 7 at 16:04
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    @Itamar The question makes sense, but series come out in discrete episodes, not as a continuous stream. That's why I think either phrasing could be used. The speaker may still think of themselves as watching...following... that series, so "I've been,,," fits. Or, they may view it as a process that was interrupted by missing one episode, hence "I'd been...". But I really think it could be put either way. – Jack O'Flaherty Jul 7 at 17:01
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  1. Does it affect the present

When the present is completed, it means that the action occurred in the past, but it is related to the present, that is, an action that occurred in the past to explain the current situation, and it still has a certain impact on the present.

The past completion is only suitable for the actions that have been completed before a certain period of time or actions in the past, not to mention the impact on the present.

  1. Different adverbials of time

The time adverbials commonly used in the present completion include now, today, tonight, this week, this year, already, yet, just, etc., while the time adverbials commonly used in the past completion are only by, at, before, etc.

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