As far as I understand the following is in the present perfect continuous form, rather than in present perfect:

I’ve been thinking about majoring in business or economics.

In textbooks it is said that:

We use the Present Perfect Simple mainly to express that an action is completed or to emphasize the result. We use the Present Perfect Progressive to emphasize the duration or continuous course of an action.

So seems in the above case it is more appropriate to use present perfect tense. Isn't it? And if it is, than how we can do so.

Also is it correct to use present perfect continues without mentioning time period? And if it is, then how it is differ from Present Perfect.

  • As it stands the sentence is valid, I could imagine using it myself. Other tenses might be more appropriate depending upon what exactly we mean to say. Is the speaker still thinking about majoring in those subjects? Were they thinking about those majors but recently begun to consider different majors? Did the speaker consider those majors some time ago but then considered something else? Tell us more about what you would like to express.
    – djna
    Aug 24, 2016 at 12:05

1 Answer 1


I’ve been thinking about majoring in business or economics.

This means you started thinking about majoring in business at a point of time in the past, and you are still thinking about it now. The sentence describes a "continuous course of an action", and thus, Present Perfect Progressive is appropriate to use.

Present Perfect Simple would be:

I've thought about majoring in business or economics.

This means you thought about it for a while, but you are not actively thinking about it right now. So there is no continuous action involved.

E.g. I've thought about it, but I don't think it is a good idea.

  • 1
    +1. We often use "I've thought about..." to refer to something about which we had doubts or reservations that stopped us from taking action. "I can't get this window to budge. I've thought about taking a pry-bar to it, but I'm concerned it would mar the sill." Aug 24, 2016 at 13:11

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