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Ten survivors have been saved since they've been searching the wreckage of the airplane.

Ten survivors have been saved while they've been searching the wreckage of the airplane.

Are these correct sentences? I want them to mean that ten survivors have been saved since they started to search the wreckage and they are continuing to search now.

Thank you very much.

2 Answers 2

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Ten survivors have been saved SINCE they've been searching the wreckage of the airplane.

Both examples are not quite right. The examples need a rephrase including a correction of pronoun-antecedent error; they in they've does not have a clear and unique antecedent.

A possible version is shown below.

Ten survivors have been saved since the rescue team started searching the wreckage of the airplane.

Another possibility is

Ten survivors have been saved while the rescue team continue searching the wreckage of the airplane.

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Ten survivors have been saved since they've been searching the wreckage of the airplane.

What this potentially can come across as meaning is that ten survivors have been saved because they have been searching the wreckage. While true, this isn’t what I think you are trying to convey.

Ten survivors have been saved while they've been searching the wreckage of the airplane.

What this potentially can come across as meaning is that ten survivors have been saved during a period when an airplane wreckage is being searched (whether the two are related or not). While this is technically also true, this isn’t quite what you’re saying, either.

It should also be important to note that the “they” in “they’ve been searching” sounds very much like the ten survivors are the people who are searching the wreckage.

In other words, both of the sentences you have written above may end up meaning true facts, but not convey exactly what you are wanting to say. If you want to diminish the chance that your writing could be read incorrectly, some other options could be along the lines of these:

Since the beginning of the search, ten survivors have been saved from the airplane wreckage.

Ten survivors have been saved from when the search of the airplane wreckage began.

Ten survivors of the airplane wreckage have been saved so far.

While not perfect, these sentences lower the chance of your writing being misconstrued.

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