I’m just wondering what is the difference between the following two sentences:

I haven’t slept for two days.


I haven’t been sleeping for two days.

The context is about someone regrets about a mistake he has made.

1 Answer 1


The nuance between the two might be illustrated thus:

A man might tell his doctor:

I've been so worried about my son that I haven't slept for two days

That's to say that he has not been able to get to sleep at all for 48 hours.

Equally, a worker who has not made much progress on an urgent project, might tell a critical boss who accuses him of slacking:

I haven't been sleeping for (the past) two days, I've been working day and night.

The worker uses the contrast between sleeping and working to defend his efforts.

In short, it's just a question of which expression best fits a particular context.

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