Can I use “has been” or “have been” if I’ve done something for a long time, and plan on continuing it in the future?

First example:

I have been doing this for a week.

Does the above sentence imply that the work is completely finished after one week? Or, instead, is it used as an indication that the subject had worked for the entire week, yet still plans to continue their work sometime in the future?

Second example:

I’ve been a part of this organisation for over a year.

Does the above sentence indicate that the person plans on resigning from the organisation after being a member of it for longer than a year? Or, rather, does it insinuate that the person had been a part of the organisation for more than a year, and plans on remaining a steadfast member in the future?

  • 1
    This is the present perfect. Use it for the interval from some indeterminate point in the past up to the present. In your first example, the sentence implies that you are continuing to do the work right now; in your second example, the person is still part of the organization. The future is unspecified. You could say, "I have been doing this for a week, and I'm finished with it." In other words. I have been working on it for a week, I'm working on it right now, and as soon as I finish this sentence, I quit.
    – deadrat
    Commented Mar 12, 2017 at 19:34

2 Answers 2


Honestly, I’d say that it depends on the context in which the sentences are used. In the case of the first example, the immediate denotation in that particular phrase insinuates that the narrator had already worked for an entire week prior to the current events, and is either still working on it, or planning to continue in the future.

In addition, taking into account the plausible factors that could result in its usage, dialogue is certainly something to consider. The meaning of the phrase may differ, depending upon the specific context in which it is used. Generally, however, the meaning will always be quite similar to I was, and I still am or I’ll continue it later—unless otherwise stated through character dialogue as not being the case.

As for the second example, this one is also very context-dependent. The denotation implies that the narrator doesn’t have any current plans to leave the organisation; typically, when expressing a desire for something that contradicts their first statement entirely, a person will include a conjunction or subordinate conjunction that offers a counterclaim—such as but, although, or yet.

Truthfully, both of the sentences seem to just be, more-or-less, neutral statements made to indicate facts. It’s almost impossible to suggest any specific meanings from the phrases alone; most times, it would be obvious simply from the situation itself.


As this answer from 2016 states:

"Has been" and "have been" are both in the present perfect tense. ...The present perfect tense refers to an action that began at some time in the past and is still in progress.

Both of your examples

I have been doing this for a week.

I’ve been a part of this organisation for over a year.

strike me, as a native speaker of English, as insinuating that the speaker intends to continue the action.

For example, the speaker(s) might well have said, I have been doing this for a week, and I will keep doing it until I am finished, and I've been a part of this organisation for over a year, and I'm not leaving this organisation any time in the foreseeable future.

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