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Having been playing a lot of video games

hirashin

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Does this sentence sound correct? If not, would you correct it?
Having been playing a lot of video games for many years, he is now a specialist on video games.

Thanks in advance.

Hirashin
 

PaulTB

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Does this sentence sound correct? If not, would you correct it?
Having been playing a lot of video games for many years, he is now a specialist on video games.
It's OK, but might stand a bit of polish.

- English generally dislikes repetition of the exact same words. So I would drop the second 'video games' and either have "he is now a specialist in that area." or just "he is now a specialist."
- Is someone who plays lots of video games for years a specialist? Or is he a game otaku / NEET / 引きこもり? Haha. I think a different subject would work better for that word.
- "Having been playing a lot of video games..." sounds a bit off to me. Possibly it's the use of 'a lot of' in the middle of it.

"Having been translating patents for many years, he is now a specialist in that area."
I've checked around, and I think that should be valid English - if a bit wordy - and has the implication that he is still translating patents.
"Having translated patents for many years, he is now a specialist in that area."
still sounds more natural to me. *shrug*

If you go further away from the original sentence maybe something like ...
"Having been teaching for many years, he could no longer conceive of doing anything else."
 

hirashin

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Thanks for the help, PaulTB.
I wanted to know the pattern "having been (verb)+ing" is used as a participle clause in this way.

"Having translated patents for many years, he is now a specialist in that area."
still sounds more natural to me. *shrug*
It seems that this pattern is grammatically possible but does not sound so natural.
OK. Thanks for the useful information.
Hirashin
 

PaulTB

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I wanted to know the pattern "having been (verb)+ing" is used as a participle clause in this way.
I think it is, but maybe not very often. As always, opinions may differ between native speakers. So if anyone else wants to put their two pennyworth in they should go ahead. :)
 

Lothor

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I think it is, but maybe not very often. As always, opinions may differ between native speakers. So if anyone else wants to put their two pennyworth in they should go ahead. :)
I think the structure is fine, e.g., 'Having been messed around by many men, Mary decided that she would rather remain single'. I don't particularly like Hirashin's sentence because it sounds as little as if the subject has been playing video games continuously without a break. I prefer 'Having played a lot of video games...'.
 

hirashin

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Thanks for the comment, Lothor.
I've rarely seen the "having been +ing" pattern used as a particle clause. Do you think such a patter could be used?
 

Lothor

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Maybe. Here are the results of a quick Google search.
Google

To be frank, from what you've said about the students you teach, I'd forget about this very subtle point and just not teach it.
 

hirashin

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Thanks for the important information, PaulTB.
I'm going to avoid using or teaching the "having been +ing" pattern. I think it would be better.
 

PaulTB

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I used to use Google numbers a great deal while working on WWWJDIC. So I can give you much of the theory. But before I do, I'll just say that even after you follow all the things below Google is still weird and unreliable. It used to be better. :(

The first thing to know is that however high the estimated number of results is, Google will only ever return up to 1000 hits. You can see this by clicking along the pages of results to the end. The last one will be something like ...

Page 46 of 452 results

instead of

Page 45 of about 333,000 results

Bit of a change, eh? :)

But there is something else you need to watch for. At the bottom of the last page of results will be something like ...

In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 460 already displayed.
If you like, you can repeat the search with the missing results included.

Clicking on that will redo the previous search with &filter=0 added to the end of the search url.
So what you should get the second time is 460 + a hundred duplicates or so. This is important because if you get 'nearly 1000' then that means Google has returned as many links as it actually can. If you get a much smaller number (say 700 or less) then that should be the actual number of pages with that text.
 
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