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I have made up the examples below.

(1a) These few days, I have not been feeling well. When I have been too focused on my work, I have felt pain in my neck.

(1b) These few days, I have not been feeling well. When I was too focused on my work, I felt pain in my neck.

(2a) These few days, I have not been feeling well. I have felt pain in my neck because I have been too focused on my work.

(2b) These few days, I have not been feeling well. I felt pain in my neck because I was too focused on my work.

I am not sure which tense of "to have and to feel" is correct.

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  • None of your sentences is 'wrong', but I consider that 1b, and probably also 2b, imply that the problem is in the past and no longer happening. – Kate Bunting Sep 30 '20 at 8:31
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All four examples you have given are fine.

1b and 2b: Using was says that you have stopped being too focussed on your work. You now have normal focus, or not enough focus, on your work. The situation is over.

1a and 2a: Using have been also says that too much focus has stopped. However, the tense you have used can also mean something that started in the past and is ongoing. In particular, in 1a writing

  • "when I have been too focussed"

suggests that

  • I have been too focussed for the past few days and I believe being too focussed is something that could happen again tomorrow and the next day, etc.

The simple past of 1b doesn't invite this interpretation.


As an aside, I believe you want to use "these past few days".

"These few days", without "past" is something we would use in English to emphasise a short but intense experience, usually a pleasant experience that you want to continue for longer. As in

  • "These few days we have spent together have been the happiest of my life"

You could include "past" in my example, but you should include "past" in your examples.

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  • Thank you for your detailed explanation. – ansonman Oct 12 '20 at 0:48

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