I think "shower" can be used with present perfect continuous. Can "take a shower" work the same way? Probably not, because "take a shower" means to start a shower.

He's been showering for ten minutes. I can't use the bathroom.

He's been taking a shower for ten minutes. I can't use the bathroom.

  • 2
    Why do you not think 'take a shower' means to go in the bathroom, undress, step under the shower head, turn on the water, soap yourself, wash the dirt off, rinse, turn off the water, step out of the shower, dry yourself on a towel, dress, leave the bathroom? Jan 2, 2022 at 12:23

1 Answer 1


No, take a shower does not mean to start a shower.

Take a shower (or in my British variety have a shower) is as far as I can tell identical in meaning to the verb shower.

The "perfect continuous" is unusual with any of the three variations of the verbal phrase, but only for semantic reasons, so your example provides a context where it does make sense.

  • Thank you very much. What's the usual way the three variations of the verbal phrases are used?
    – Stephen
    Jan 2, 2022 at 12:29
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    I'm not sure what you're asking, @Stephen. When I said the use was unusual, I meant that He's been showering/taking a shower/having a shower for ten minutes is something nobody is likely to say except in the context you''ve given where they are expressing some annoyance about the length of time.
    – Colin Fine
    Jan 2, 2022 at 12:52
  • Thank you. So, in the context I've given, these sentences are the correct expressions, aren't they?
    – Stephen
    Jan 2, 2022 at 13:04
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    Yes. I would probably say He's been in the shower for ten minutes, perhaps because my principal concern is not what he's doing but the fact that he is occupying the space I want to use. But your versions are fine too.
    – Colin Fine
    Jan 2, 2022 at 13:06
  • Thank you very much.
    – Stephen
    Jan 2, 2022 at 13:27

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