She is away on holiday. Is she? Where ... ?
- Where has she gone? (Correct)
Where has she been going?
Why we can not use the second choice here ?
English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
The present perfect continuous is used for ongoing or repeating processes. But we're not asking about an ongoing or repeating process, we're only asking about what she has done one time.
It might be easier to see if we put it as a statement. Right now we would say
She has gone away
because we're referring to an action in the past that affects the present.
To show you how we use them differently, let's see how the meaning of the sentence is changed by the different tenses.
He has gone to the racetrack (He has recently left, or he went there at some time in the past) He has been going to the racetrack (He has repeatedly gone to the racetrack)
I have eaten octopus (at least one time in the past I ate it)
I have been eating octopus (over a span of time in the recent past I ate octopus repeatedly)
But it's not always easy to see the difference:
She has slept for three hours (at this point, she has been asleep for some span three hours, probably the three hours up to now)
She has been sleeping for three hours (at this point, she has been asleep for three hours)
and you just have to know which one is more idiomatic. Sleeping is inherently an ongoing process, so has been sleeping is more idiomatic, but going away is a one-time process, so has gone is correct.