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At the end of a British radio programme on "boredom", the presenter says:

"I hope you haven't been bored listening to us."

The sentence sounded different, because I would say:

"I hope you are not bored listening to us."

So, I would like to find out 2 things about this structure:

1-Why is "I hope you haven't been bored...", whereas "I hope you are not bored...." would simply mean the same? Is using perfect emphasizing anything?

2-Why is there not "with/of" before "listening", because we know that "to be bored" is used with preposition "with/of".

2 Answers 2

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  1. Note that this was set at the end of the program. "I hope that you are not bored" (present simple) relates to being bored at the moment of speaking (ie at the end of the program), whereas "I hope that you haven't been bored" (present perfect) relates to being bored for the whole duration of the program... or at least intermittently during the duration of the program.

  2. with is a preposition: as you said, it can be used with bored to attach a noun to explain what made you bored.

I am bored with this book.

listening could be either a gerund (a noun form which requires the preposition with to associate it with bored) or a participle (which does not require a with).

I sat watching the rain

In this sentence, "watching the rain" is a participial phrase which describes what you were doing while sitting. The participial phrase " listening to us" in your sentence works in the same way.

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  • Thanks for the answer. You say "...participle (which does not require a with).". So do you mean, we don't have to use prepositions of verbs if they are followed by a participle. In other words, are prepositions optional or mustn't be used if they are followed by participles.?
    – Yunus
    Feb 25, 2022 at 9:41
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    @yunus "...we don't have to use prepositions of verbs:..." verbs don't 'have' prepositions. We use prepositions to attach a noun to something in order to provide additional information about it, for example "the man" + "with" + "the big dog". For a particular verb, there are specific prepositions that can be used to provide specific types of additional information, but there is not usually a requirement to provide this additional information. If you don't provide the information, or you don't provide it as a noun, you don't use the preposition.
    – JavaLatte
    Feb 26, 2022 at 11:14
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  1. The past tense is used because the programme is over! I hope you are not bored would only be appropriate if it was said during the programme.

  2. The implied meaning is I hope you haven't been bored [while you have been] listening to us. The presenter could have said I hope you weren't bored by/with our programme.

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