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He started writing his first novel last year and has continued to do so until now.

Does the highlighted part mean that he is still working on his first novel?

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    Only the context will tell you exactly if he has finished his first novel or not. Present perfect can be used for actions that have finished very recently, or that still go on in the present. A more proper use for the latter meaning would be present perfect continuous, but the verb continue would seem awkward in the continuous aspect here.
    – fev
    Dec 28, 2020 at 0:24
  • He has been writing his first novel up to this point/until the present moment. Now he is done, he is not working on it anymore. I think "until now" implies a change of circumstances - he has been working on the novel, then something else happened (he died, he abandoned the idea, he completed it). It's hard to tell if the novel was finished. Dec 28, 2020 at 0:27
  • Yep, there are 3 times he did it. "Last Year", "Has Continued" and "Until Now"
    – Jovylle
    Nov 24, 2021 at 4:41

2 Answers 2

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It is not given.

We are told that he was writing "until now". It is possible that he has just finished, or it may be unfinished. It would be correct to say

He has continued writing until now, and will send the completed manuscript to the publisher this afternoon.

It would also be correct to say

He ahs continued writing until now, and at this rate, he expects to finish later next year.

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Just break it apart into its pieces:

He started writing his first novel last year....

(he began writing his first novel last year)

and has continued to do so.....

(and he's kept writing his first novel)

until now.

(but now he stopped).

It's not clear why he stopped. Perhaps he finished or maybe he just gave up. But he's not writing his first novel anymore.

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