# How to express relatively long-lasting situation?

If I'm reading a book now, I can speak :

If I began to read that book a week ago and I have been reading it for several days and I haven't finished it yet, I can also say

For an accurate definition I can add the word "now" at the end of the first sentence, but if I add the subordinate clause "since I bought it a week ago" at the end of the second sentence, I have to use the present perfect :

"I have been reading an interesting book since I bought it a week ago".

How can I write the second sentence using the present continuous, so that it can be understood that I'm not reading that book at this moment?

• If you use present continuous, it would mean you are reading the book now, so, not sure why you want to say you are not reading it now? Feb 28, 2016 at 10:09
• Well, the last sentence should have "have been". Do check. Feb 28, 2016 at 10:49
• As @Peter said, the present continuous of the second sentence, is the second sentence. I don't get your meaning. Feb 28, 2016 at 10:52

It is not perfectly clear what you mean by "I'm not reading that book at this moment".

I have been reading a book since last week.

I am reading a book that I began last week.

I was reading a book all week, but I stopped reading it yesterday [for some reason] (or "but I finished it yesterday").

You are not reading it now.

That is past continuous. Present continuous would have to be something like:

I am no longer reading the book I'd been reading since last week. It began to bore me.

``````to be no longer + doing = to have ceased doing
``````

We would go to the ocean every summer, but we are no longer going to the beach because it has become too crowded. Now we are going to the mountains instead.

• Suppose I bought a book yesterday. I read it yesterday. I read it today two hours ago.I will read it tomorrow.But I'm not reading the book at the present moment. I can say:"I have been reading a book since yesterday".But it can be understood, that I'm reading a book without stopping for two days. Can I say :"I am reading a book that I began yesterday"?But if I can, it can be understood, that I'm reading the book at the present moment.How to avoid different interpretations?May be I can say:"I read a book that I began yesterday"?
– oleg
Feb 28, 2016 at 13:13
• I fail to understand your problem. Are you trying to find a tense that means "I am taking a hiatus from doing something"? Or are you concerned that someone will interpret "have been reading" to mean "doing nothing but reading" or "reading non-stop"?
– TimR
Feb 28, 2016 at 13:42
• Also, define "present moment". When you're speaking with someone, they know you're not reading, unless you have the book in hand. It is understood that any activity which takes hours or days is usually not done in one continuous stint.
– TimR
Feb 28, 2016 at 13:47
• 1. I have been reading a book since last week. 2. I am reading a book that I began last week. Do these sentences have the same meaning? I'm from Ukraine.At the several English websites being written, that the PC tense is used to talk about things that are happening at the moment of speaking.But things are not happening at the moment of speaking in my sentence.At the one of the Ukrainian websites being written, that PC tence can also be used to talk about things that are happening at the present, but not at the moment of speaking. Is that true?
– oleg
Feb 28, 2016 at 15:58
• Those websites are oversimplifying. The present continuous refers to actions ongoing in the present, but as you know, the human concept of "the present" is not necessarily restricted to "this precise moment" but includes "this semester" or "this year" or even "nowadays", for example, "Now that we have moved from the farm to the city, I am taking taxis and buses and no longer riding a horse".
– TimR
Feb 28, 2016 at 17:25