If I want to ask someone about their handwashing routine, is there any difference between

"Do you wash your hands regularly?" or "Have you been washing your hands regularly?" or are both possible?


Both are possible. Obviously the second refers to the person's habit until the present moment, but in practice both questions mean the same.

  • "what do you mean by "habit until the present moment?" Doesn't "do you wash" refer to a habit until the present moment as well? – – anouk Dec 20 '20 at 12:56
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    Do you? means 'Are you habitually doing it now?' Have you been? means 'Have you habitually done it until now?' As I said, in practice both mean the same. – Kate Bunting Dec 20 '20 at 15:16
  • Could you have said: "have you habitually been doing it until now?" – anouk Dec 20 '20 at 20:55
  • I only used the word habitually to make the slight difference in meaning clear. Yes, I could have said that, but none of those expressions is particularly natural. – Kate Bunting Dec 21 '20 at 8:48
  • But my original sentences: "do you wash your hands regularly/ have you been washing your hands regularly " are natural, right? – anouk Dec 22 '20 at 18:33

Do you wash your hands regularly?

is a more idiomatic way to ask it.

Have you been washing your hands regularly?

doesn't mention any period of time, which makes it a little unnatural, and I would say incorrect.

Have you been washing your hands regularly since that deadly virus came around?

Have you been washing your hands regularly since Covid-19?

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