Some native speakers think this sentence is wrong:

I've exercised for two months.

They say it's wrong because it means I've been exercising 24*7 nonstop for two months.

This reason, however, doesn't convince me completely.

Another similar sentence

I've worked for two months.

doesn't mean I've been working 24*7 nonstop for two months.

So, what's the real problem with it?

  • It doesn't mean 24/7. In certain contexts we might say that. "Yes, Herr Dokter: I've exercised for two months but I'm still overweight." It suggests the exercise is either continuing or has just finished. ("I've exercised for two months and that's enough!") Or we could say, "I've sometimes tried to lose weight. I've exercised for two months without losing an ounce." That means "Sometime in the past I exercised for two months." Commented Jan 1, 2022 at 15:03
  • 1
    Saying "Some native speakers" is unclear. Who are these people? Your teacher, your friend? A person on "wordreference.com" or another forum? Please avoid saying "Some native speakers". Clearly identify who.
    – James K
    Commented Jan 1, 2022 at 22:36

2 Answers 2


If someone says "I've exercised for two months" I understand it to mean the person started exercising two months ago and is still doing it, but not 24/7, because that would be impossible, wouldn't it. You need to sleep, eat, etc. The same applies to "I've worked for two months." I've worked/been working at my current job for three years, that doesn't mean 24/7, it means I began working there in 2019 and I still work there.

  • 1
    I agree, whilst technically the sentence says you have been exercising continuously for 2 months (since there is no mention of other activities) some common sense on the part of the listener is expected and it is reasonable to interpret it as meaning "I have been taking some periods of exercise during the past two months" Or similar due to context. Commented Jan 1, 2022 at 14:28

Context is always important.

These "native speakers" are wrong. "I've exercised for two months." would not mean without a break, but rather that you had been doing regular exercise.

I would actually be more likely to use "I've been exercising", as one use of the continuous aspect is to refer to repeated actions. Naturally, there would be some context:

You're running well!

Yeah, I've been exercising for two months now, and it's really made a difference.

What kind of exercises do you do?


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