I would like to know if the continuous can be used in this case: over a million people have been visiting the tower of pisa in the past year.


1 Answer 1


In this case, the progressive is not grammatically correct. We want to say that the people have already seen the Tower of Pisa. So, we need to use the present perfect, the action is complete, and relates to the present.

"Over a million people have visited the Tower of Pisa in the past year."

You can use the present perfect continuous if the action began in the past, but continues into the present. You can also use it to express an observation, or a continuous action in the near past.

"Recently, we have been going to the store a lot."

We are expressing the observation that we've been to the store a lot in the near past.

"Since Thursday, we have been studying for the test."

The action began in the past, but continues into the present.

  • thank you, but I want to express that lots of people keep coming to see and visit the tower, in the past up until now, in the sense of "people have been visiting the tower". Could it be that "in the past year" can`t be used with the progressive?
    – anouk
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 20:53
  • Have you tried saying, "Over the past year, many people have been going to see the Tower of Pisa"? The action is not complete in this case, so you can use the progressive. Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 21:04
  • How do you know that the action is complete, which words make that clear to you?
    – anouk
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 9:49
  • "Over the past year", the year is complete, so the actions must be, too. Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 12:30
  • okay, but in your example you also use "over the past year" with the continuous "have been going", which is not complete. What is the difference with my example? thank you
    – anouk
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 16:45

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