1

Is this sentence correct? If this present or past perfect tense? I cannot figure it out.

I have had been doing this for eight hours.

3
  • 2
    Where did you find this sentence? It seems to be wrong. I have never seen this structure. You may use "have + had" in a sentence in which "have" is an auxiliary verb and "had" is the main verb and the tense of the sentence is the present perfect.
    – helen
    Sep 9, 2018 at 10:03
  • So when we use have had or had had we don’t use been ?
    – user81939
    Sep 9, 2018 at 10:05
  • For present perfect, 'I have been doing this for eight hours.' For past perfect, 'I had been doing this for eight hours.' Using the Past Perfect usually requires another action in the simple past tense that occurs after the action in the Past Perfect, e.g. 'I had been doing this for eight hours when I was called away to another task.'
    – James
    Sep 10, 2018 at 15:32

1 Answer 1

2

This sentence is fine:

I have been doing this for eight hours.

Also, this sentence is grammatical, but, without any additional context, it almost sounds "incomplete":

I had been doing this for eight hours.

As this website explains, the past perfect is used:

  • for something that happened in the past but is important at the time of reporting
  • for something we had done several times up to a point in the past and continued to do after that point

So, I'd expect to see that sentence in a context like this:

My back was sore. I had been doing this for eight hours.
I had been doing this for eight hours when I was suddenly interrupted.

As you correctly deduced from helen's comment, we don't use been with "have had". However, we could say something like:

I have had eight hours to do this, but I still couldn't get it done in time.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .