I read this conversation in an English textbook. I don't think the italicized part is correct. I've had an impression that present perfect continuous can't go with times or frequency.

A: How have you been feeling recently?

B: Great! I've been running three times a week. And I haven't been drinking as much coffee since I stopped working at the coffee shop.

  • It's fine. That's what B has been doing recently (the continuous tells it has started recently, it's still ongoing, and it hasn't become a habit) Jan 10, 2022 at 9:19
  • It has become a habit, that is why the continuous is used in the sentence. He's been running three times a week, has been doing it recently, it is a new habit.
    – anouk
    Jan 10, 2022 at 19:21

1 Answer 1


The continuous tense can be used when talking about an action that has become habitual.

We wouldn't say

I've been drinking three cups of coffee this morning.

but we can say

I've been drinking coffee mid-morning for several years.

  • Can you say he's been visiting Sarah in the hospital many times?
    – Stephen
    Jan 10, 2022 at 9:26
  • 1
    Sorry - when you said can't go with times, I thought you meant can't be used when a period of time is mentioned (a week). We can say "He's been visiting Sarah in hospital several times a week" or "frequently", but if we're talking about the total number of visits during her stay, it would be "has visited". Jan 10, 2022 at 9:44
  • Sorry for the confusion. I should've said "number of times".
    – Stephen
    Jan 10, 2022 at 10:20
  • So, several times is different from several times a week.
    – Stephen
    Jan 10, 2022 at 10:21
  • 1
    Several times a week implies that over a number of weeks you did it several times each week. Several times just means you have done it at some point more than once.
    – mdewey
    Jan 10, 2022 at 11:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .