"I'm not improving my English knowledge significantly" versus "I have not been improving my English knowledge significantly"

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I'm not improving my English knowledge significantly.

I have not been improving my English knowledge significantly.

I would like to know which is the best choice between the two sentences above. I mean that I have been studying English for a while but, sometimes, I feel that my English comprehension is quite low till now.

jeysmith

Posted 2013-08-05T17:56:24.293

Reputation: 773

Answers

4

Neither of your phrases captures the meaning that you want.

The reason is that in both you make yourself (that is I) the subject; this conveys a sense of you actively doing (or not doing) something.

A better phrase would have your English knowledge as the subject:

My English knowledge has not been improving significantly.

The two phrases you gave have a different meaning. They could be reworded to something like the following.

With I'm not improving my English... the phrase I am not has a sense of personal desire. It could be reworded to:

I do not want to improve my English knowledge significantly.

I have not been working has a sense of a process or of work, and could be reworded to:

I am not working at improving my English knowledge significantly.

David Hall

Posted 2013-08-05T17:56:24.293

Reputation: 1 087

Thank you David. I think I get what you meant. So, can I reword it this way? "Despite my efforts, sometimes, I feel that my English knowledge has not been improving significantly lately". – jeysmith – 2013-08-05T19:22:20.917

It's not clear what the following note is about, since neither the rephrased sentences uses have not: "Here have not has a sense of a process or of work." – kiamlaluno – 2013-08-05T20:36:48.580

@kiamlaluno thanks - I'll reword to make that clearer. – David Hall – 2013-08-05T20:45:21.260

@jeysmith - yes, your new version is clearer. – David Hall – 2013-08-05T20:53:42.817

2

The first one sounds like you are not improving your English and won't be in the future. The second one sounds like you have not been improving your English (but you might start soon).

It depends what kind of feeling you are trying to have. I would choose the 2nd one. It sounds more like you are trying to improve, but haven't been as much as you'd like to.

They both mean the same thing literally, but the feelings are different.

Bobo

Posted 2013-08-05T17:56:24.293

Reputation: 491