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I have cleaned my car :

this means I have finished cleaning my entire car and it focuses on the result = clean car

I have been cleaning my car:

this doesn`t necessarily mean I have finished cleaning my entire car and it focuses on the activity = what I have been doing.

My question is: is it possible to say I have been cleaning my car, even when I have cleaned my entire car, but I just want to emphasize the activity? For example: What have you been doing today? I have been cleaning my car. (meaning my entire car) or do I have to say I have cleaned my car?

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Yes, but the perfect continuous will always imply that you are still doing the activity, unless you add more information.

A. What have you been up to today?
B. I've been doing my homework, but I just finished.

  • Thank you, I thought the present continuous could be used for actions that have recently finished, but you can see the result in the present, like in this case a clean car. – anouk Dec 30 '17 at 19:42

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