Mary has walked to work everyday for the last 6 weeks.

Why not has been walking as it has happened continuously for the last 6 weeks and we can suppose it is a temporary thing

is it because of everyday that indicates the continuity of the action

  • 1
    Sometimes there is a difference in nuance between the present perfect and the present perfect continuous. Sometimes there is no difference. In this isolated example, there is no difference, and you can use either. More important is how the sentence fits in with the surrounding context, which may rely on the past perfect rather than the past perfect continuous. Or, alternately, the writer might just think the past perfect sounds better.
    – Andrew
    May 3, 2019 at 19:58

2 Answers 2


You could do that.

"has been walking" would imply that we expect her to do it again today and tomorrow and potentially an indefinite number of days into the future, "she still walks to work every day and has been walking to work each day for the last 6 weeks"

However, there is the possibility that someone might infer that she started walking to work 6 weeks ago and as of this statement she is still heading to work and that she has not yet once arrived.

If you were to say "had been walking" you might get the same confusion that about when she finally arrived at work. But either way "had been" infers that she is now done walking - either finally arrived, or for future trips she may/will do something else (ride, drive, skip, swim, run, etc).

I think the key thing is where the word choice fits with the surrounding narrative style.

  • 2
    The context of the statement would avoid confusion about whether or not she was taking six weeks to walk to work. Your point is valid in general and import to make, but in this specific case it's mostly a non-issue. May 3, 2019 at 17:51

It is present perfect continuous not present continuous as it says in the title.

"Mary has been walking to work everyday for the last 6 weeks" is fine, because the walking to work started 6 weeks ago and has been continuing until the present. It doesn't have to be temporary. Maybe Mary decided to walk to work because it is good exercise? I think in this case has walked/ has been walking are both possible without a difference in meaning.

  • "It is present perfect continuous not present continuous" does not make sense. The question is between present perfect and present perfect continuous.
    – Andrew
    May 3, 2019 at 19:44
  • I know, but the title says "why not present continuous in that case?"
    – anouk
    May 3, 2019 at 19:46
  • Ah, I see. I think that's a mistake in the title as it doesn't match with the text of the question.
    – Andrew
    May 3, 2019 at 19:47
  • Yes of course I made a mistake
    – Yves Lefol
    May 3, 2019 at 20:53

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