If I meet my friend as he is leaving the swimming pool, I know I can ask: Have you been swimming?

But can I also say "have you just swum?" instead of the question above?

If so, do the two questions have the same meaning?

Or, is there any slight difference?

And which of the two is better?

  • 1
    sports: to go swimming, to go surfing, to go biking etc. are idiomatic, also when referring to the activity. But that does not mean you can't say: Have you just swum? Usually, one would say: Have you just been swimming?
    – Lambie
    Jun 4, 2019 at 20:20

1 Answer 1


Both are possible. They have the same objective meaning.

"Have you been swimming" is a question about how you have spent the last period of time. "Have you just swum" is a question about what you have done in that time.

Since swimming is not a telic activity, there is very little difference, but suppose the question was about writing an essay: "Have you been writing your essay" does not presuppose anything about whether it was finished, but "Have you just written your essay" is asking about completion.

  • Thank you so much for your answer.
    – jinnyk216
    Jun 4, 2019 at 20:16

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