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The leftover is no longer edible for it _____ on the table for hours.

(a) is being left
(b) has been left

Are both choices correct? I think since there is "for hours" there it indicates a time period therefore "is being" is not suitable? I'm not sure though.

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    Native Anglophones would normally use because rather than for in such contexts. But it's always Present Perfect ...because it has been left out [for hours] (or Simple Past was left out), never Present Continuous. Commented Aug 22, 2021 at 17:32

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Choice (a) is incorrect. The biggest problem with (a) is that it uses present tense for something that had already happened.

You could change it to “was being left,” and that is technically grammatical English, but it still sounds bad because needless double usage of the verb “to be.”

So the most correct version of (a) would simply be “was left.”

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  • What's your opinion on bak1936's answer? (the for part)
    – CYC
    Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 0:27
  • bak1936’s response is a bit hard to follow. It seemingly says that “for” is both a preposition and a conjunction. In this context, it is just a conjunction.
    – SegNerd
    Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 1:51
  • So is "has to use the past perfect tense" correct in your opinion?
    – CYC
    Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 2:54
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The leftover is no longer edible for it _____ on the table for hours. (b) has been left

Owing to using the preposition "for"before "hours" which expresses a period times, The clause that expresses "the reason"; "for" is conjunction, has to use the past perfect tense.

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