I was trying to solve grammar exercise and I came through this question.

I have started to play tennis, and I have been taking singing lessons for a few month.

My question is why we use have been taking in the second portion of the sentence instead of using have taken and vice verse.

As per the book's explanation we using have been taking to focus on the activity and duration. In that case, why not we use present continuous tense in the first portion of the sentence?

1 Answer 1


You only start to play tennis once, at a specific point in time. It’s not a continuous activity. You could say “I have been playing tennis”, because playing tennis is a continuous activity. And so is taking singing lessons.

  • Can you please elaborate it once. I mean what is the difference between start to play tennis and playing tennis?
    – Encipher
    Sep 8, 2020 at 9:25
  • 1
    @Encipher Starting to play tennis is a single action that takes place at a specific moment in time. It happens the first time you pick up a tennis racket and try to hit a ball with it, and then it’s finished and can never happen again. You can play tennis over and over again.
    – Mike Scott
    Sep 8, 2020 at 9:28
  • Ok, Really good explanation.
    – Encipher
    Sep 8, 2020 at 9:44

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