Is there any real difference between these two sentences? I have found many internet pages where similar constructions are used interchangeably.

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    Present perfect continuous and present perfect simple are often interchangeable. But it's recommended to use p.perfect continuous to emphasize continuity and p.perfect simple to emphasize state. But I wouldn't use p.perfect simple in this sentence. – user178049 Dec 8 '16 at 12:53

Both the sentences indicate the continuity of the action. The question started intriguing me a long time ago, and it still intrigues me. Look at a couple of examples:

I have lived here for years = I have been living here for years.

I have worked in this factory for years = I have been working in this factory for years.

However, in the sense of the continuity of an action, the present perfect continuous is preferable.

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  • Here, the verb "to intrigue" doesn't mean "to plot something harmful; to scheme in an underhand manner". Is it an active verb then, to be used in continuous tense at all? – Victor B. Dec 8 '16 at 18:09

It has a difference:

“This question has been intriguing me for years” means that it started intriguing you at some point in the past and is still intriguing you!

“This question has intrigued me for years” means that you were intrigued in the past but not anymore!

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  • 6
    "I've known you for years" means I dont know you now? – user178049 Dec 8 '16 at 12:29
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    @user178049 "know" is not an action verb. Such verbs are not usually used with present perfect continuous! It's incorrect to say: I‘ve been knowing you for years – SovereignSun Dec 8 '16 at 13:15
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    Akcherly, "has intrigued me" implies continuing intrigue. "had intrigued me" would mean it had stopped. – MMacD Dec 8 '16 at 13:17
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    "That loonie living across the street has bothered me for years". Continued bothering is implied. – MMacD Dec 8 '16 at 13:30
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    This answer is incorrect. "This question has intrigued me for years" still implies that it continues to intrigue you. The form of the sentence that would mean it had stopped intriguing you would be the simple past: "This question intrigued me for years". See also my answer to a question yesterday about the present perfect: ell.stackexchange.com/questions/111715/… – Jez W Dec 8 '16 at 16:57

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