Could anyone please tell me whether I should use present perfect continuous or present continuous tense with 'so far'? I have seen native speakers use both tenses with 'so far' like "How's your day going so far?" Please tell me Which tense is more correct and what's the rule?

Here are some examples:

  • My car is/has been running good so far.

  • England are/have been playing good cricket so far.

  • You will hear native English speakers using both. However in your first example the use of good (an adjective in this instance) to mean well would be widely regarded as incorrect even though many (mainly American) people say: I'm good to mean I'm well. Finally, although your grammar is fine, your characterization of the standard of England's cricket as good is questionable, given the thrashing they're getting from Australia. – Ronald Sole 7 mins ago Dec 24, 2017 at 17:13

1 Answer 1


Both "My car is running well" and "My car has been running well" are grammatical and idiomatic, but they have slightly different meanings. The first says that the car is running well at the current instant, but is silent on whether it was running well yesterday, last week, last month, or last year. It has a more limited meaning than the second sentence, which means that the car is not only running well at the current instant but has been doing so since some definite but unspecified time in the past.

Once we add "so far" to the sentences, the sentence that technically refers only to the current instant becomes somewhat contradictory in terms of logic because "so far" clearly implies durations rather than instances. Lack of logic does not make a sentence ungrammatical or unidiomatic. A careful speaker would avoid "My car is running well so far" and would use instead "My car has been running well so far," but the first of those would be interpreted by a native speaker as meaning the second without even noticing the technical lapse in logic.

Particularly in speech, speakers do not have time to choose their words with perfect forethought, and listeners constantly make unconscious corrections to get the intended meaning.

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