We have been waiting for Nancy for the last 2 hours, but she still hasn't arrived.

It's really confusing for me that why they used present perfect at the end of sentence when the first part of the sentence we have present perfect continuous?!

Is it incorrect if we use present perfect continuous again, for second part of sentence?!

What about present simple or present continuous for second part? Please tell me the rules or the reason so I can understand it better.

1 Answer 1


No. Arrive is a point event: it is very rare to use it in a continuous construction.

In fact, the only ways in which I can think of that it might be used are either sarcastic:

She's been arriving for half an hour now. Do you think she might get here some time?

or (in the non-past) to convey a vagueness or uncertainty:

Well, they'll be arriving some time soon.

  • 2
    @fatemehkhayat So, note, it's the choice of word (or of meaning) that's driving the choice of tense here. Continuous could have made sense for some other word, like "We've been waiting for Nancy for 2 hours, but she hasn't been getting our text messages" Commented Jan 28 at 22:19
  • ell.stackexchange.com/users/138287/andy-bonner I learn that when we use past perfect continuous and we want to describe an interuption or another situation that happens we would use simple past in another sentence. I want to know it's same for present perfect continuous? What tense is the commen way to describe another situation in this cases ? Commented Jan 29 at 2:05
  • ell.stackexchange.com/users/138287/andy-bonner Another question that I have is that in sentence "We have been waiting for Nancy for the last 2 hours, but she still hasn't arrived" the writter use she still hasn't arrived in present perfect to show that she didn't come and this action of her is ongoing until this moment that we are waiting; right? or is there another reason to use this tense Commented Jan 29 at 2:11
  • @fatemehkhayat: please ask those supplementary questions as separate questions in ELL, with examples of what you are asking about.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Jan 29 at 18:01

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