Can we combine the present perfect continuous tense and the present perfect tense by using 'since'? For example:

  1. I have not been going to the gym since I have come back from overseas.
  2. The practitioners have been taking good care of their patients since the parliament has passed the legislation.
  • Your second sentence has no present perfect continuous tense in it. Do you need to edit it? Could you please clarify what you consider might be wrong in these sentences? Are you comparing present perfect with simple past?
    – urnonav
    Nov 11, 2019 at 16:51
  • You're right about the second sentence. It doesn't have present perfect continuous in it. I am comparing the present perfect with the past simple tense here and wondering both of them make sense. They also have a similar semantic structure. For instance: " I have not been going to the gym since I came back from overseas." Nov 12, 2019 at 1:51
  • @urnonav, My question is that is it ok if we use perfect perfect with present perfect continuous by using 'since' in between them. Nov 12, 2019 at 2:08

1 Answer 1


Both your sentences are grammatically sound. The use of since does not affect your choice of tense in the first part (independent clause) of either sentence. Think of them in isolation first:

I have not been going to the gym.

The practitioners have been taking good care of the patients.

Both are perfectly sound sentences up to this point. Now, let's think of since. It introduces a time comparison. Something happened prior to the events in the independent clauses. For this time ordering, you need a "past" tense - not necessarily a tense named past but a tense that describes an event in the past. You have two choices:

  • Simple past
  • Present perfect

Now, present perfect continuous describes a situation that started in the near past and continues to exist. The doctors started taking good care of the patients and are still doing so. So, both present perfect and simple past can precede situations described using present perfect continuous.

At this point, your question boils down to one of the many questions of present perfect vs simple past. Since simple past is a better "dot on a timeline" event, that would be a better stylistic fit in most cases.

I have not been going to the gym since I came back from overseas.

The "coming back" is a single isolated event that happened before the independent clause. Present perfect is a "section on a timeline" tense, making it less fit as a time marker.

However, this is based on style and idiomatic use, and not on grammar.

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