"Sie hat schon seit zwei Stunden mit diesem Begriff gespielt."
I was under the impression that such constructions as the sentence in English here would be translated in the present tense in German. Or is it that this is to imagined in the context of a narrative already based in the past tense? - But in which case, would not the conditional past tense be better (As in, she HAD been playing with the term for two hours already when the solution dawned on her...)? --Or have I simply been under the wrong impression?
"Sie hat schon zwei Stunden mit diesem Begriff gespielt, jetzt ist es Zeit, dass sie zur Sache kommt." As you see, not conditional. not past. "has been playing" is neither present in English nor in German. "Sie hatte schon 2 St. mit diesem Begriff gespielt, als sie auf die Losung kam". Yes, that is a narrative, but does not fit in the given sentence.
hmmm....thanks for your response, but my query - a general one - remains, for me, unresolved.. For the sake of making a point and in order to avoid confusion, let's consider the first construction in the german sentence as the past tense, i.e. hat....gespielt and not spielt (whether or not this functions operatively as such can be left aside for the moment). A better example is perhaps the difference between the english, "Q: How long have you been living here? A: I've been living here for 5 years already." (Again, ostensibly a past tense construction, as in, have been living and not, am living here since 5 years, even though it does not function as such) -- and the German - I have been made to understand - which would be phrased in the present tense, Wie lange wohnen Sie schon hier? and NOT wie lange haben sie schon hier gewohnt?
Nice post and you are quite right, but .... (Sorry) The translation goes from German to English. When you see "hat ... gespielt" so we can't act like there is "sie spielt". Of course it is a point in any language learning that ways in which time and aspect are expressed are different.