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I'm trying to understand the difference between these two perfect verb-forms. Could you explain the difference between the following sentences:

I've been playing a lot of tennis recently.

and

I've played tennis three times this week.

I also would like to understand, what is verb-form preferred in my first sentence:

I'm trying to understand the difference between [...]

or

I have been trying to understand [...]

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I've been playing a lot of tennis recently.

  • here, the time frame is fully inspecified. What stands for "recently"? Could be one day, could be one month, depending on the speaker's preferences.

I've played tennis three times this week.

  • here, the precise time of the matches is uncpecified, but the listener is given information about the general time frame. He knows that none of the three matches took place earlier than the first day of this week.
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The first two sentences differ because "a lot" in the first sentence is indeterminate in describing the number of times you played tennis. Also, the amount of time over which tennis was played, in the first sentence, is indeterminate as well.

In the second two sentences, to say "I'm trying" is understood to mean "I'm currently trying" while "I have been trying" means "I was trying in the recent past and I am continuing to try."

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