• He has traveled so much recently that we have not managed to see each other much and I have met someone else. (why not "has been traveling")
  • I have been eating fish and fruit since I got here. (why not "have eaten")
  • It is a miracle that I have survived for this long. (why not "have been surviving")

Sentences like that give me doubts as to my knowledge upon this subject.

  • Regarding the first two, I think you have to ask the writer about the reasons why he wanted to imply a finished process related to the present moment instead of a recurring course of actions; :-) perhaps, to avoid emphasizing on the frequency of the events. Regarding the last one, it does not sound very well to to my learner ears to use the progressive aspect in that context, though being grammatically correct.
    – Cardinal
    Commented May 5, 2020 at 22:12
  • 3
    Who says you can't? To my ear there is no grammatical reason why you couldn't use either form of your examples, and in the first example I might even prefer has been traveling. The third example, and to a lesser extent the second, I admit, sound a bit weird unless I contrive variations on the sentences, but they're not 'wrong' per se. Is it this 'weirdness' you want explaining? Commented May 5, 2020 at 22:47
  • No, you see, the sentences I provided are said to be the only correct ones on the platform I found them on, and it's a very reliable platform too (Skyeng - the biggest online school in Europe), so that's why I'm wondering.
    – Leroy
    Commented May 6, 2020 at 5:33
  • As compared to what??
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 15, 2020 at 3:37
  • You'll have to ask the person who commented on that site for their reasons. I find the first two completely unexceptionable in continuous form. I find the third one a little odd, because of the semantics of survive.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Nov 2, 2021 at 20:23

2 Answers 2


In English context is very important and I have learnt that stative verbs cannot be used in the continuous tense, but otherwise it all depends on context and sometimes regional differences.

In the first sentence "has been travelling" would be a good choice, because it implies a temporary situation or habit: recently he has been travelling a lot. ( normally he travels less)

If you say "I have eaten fish and fruit" it means the eating of fish and fruit has occurred since you got there, but it could be once, whereas "I have been eating" implies you have eaten fish and fruit more frequently.

I don't think to survive is used in the present perfect continuous tense (I couldn't find any examples), but it can be used in the present continuous: " I am surviving".


"He has traveled so much recently that we have not managed to see each other much and I have met someone else" = "he's done with traveling he's not traveling anymore"

If you say he's been travelling = it means he's still travelling

I have been eating fish and fruit since I got here = I'm still eating fish & fruit since since i got here

If you say i have eaten = it means I'm not eating anymore

  • Yes, I know what these tenses mean. My question though was why these sentences are said to be the only ones that are correct, regardless of what one's implying.
    – Leroy
    Commented May 6, 2020 at 5:37
  • Because then the whole meaning will be changed Commented May 6, 2020 at 5:38
  • The meaning changes of course, it doesn't mean the correct grammar changes to the wrong one, does it? That's what I'm saying. How should a student know which one the author prefers, when you can use both.
    – Leroy
    Commented May 6, 2020 at 5:43

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