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If I was sleeping and I just woke up, is it correct to say to someone:

How long I have been sleeping?

Secondly, the present perfect continuous implies the continuity but does it mean that I am doing only this activity? Like "I have been working this for two days" there are on and off.

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  • Did you mean to say "I have been working ON this for two days. More or less.”? What exactly did mean by mean by "there are on and off"? The previous editor tried to clarify but I don't think their interpretation was on target, which is why I rolled back the edit.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 19:08
  • Yes I meant " I have been working on this ...", By "there are on and off" I mean that the action can be interrupted by another action, so it's not really continuous à 100%.
    – safarie
    Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 22:16

1 Answer 1

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How long have I been sleeping? is grammatically correct, but not what I, a US English native speaker would probably say. (How long I have been sleeping? does not have the correct inversion to be a question.) I would probably say How long was I asleep? or maybe How long have I been asleep? or even How long was I sleeping?

There just isn't really any reason to use the present perfect continuous here, because you're not asleep anymore.

Secondly, the present perfect continuous implies the continuity but it doesn't mean that I am doing only this activity? Like "I have been working this for 2 days" there are on and off.

I'm not sure if I understand your question correctly, but no, the present perfect continuous does not necessarily imply continuity or doing only one activity. You have to use some common sense and context. For example,

She has been working on her novel for four years.

I don't think anyone would assume that she has done absolutely nothing else for four years, only that the working has gone on during that span of time. On the other hand,

They have been arguing for an hour now.

certainly makes it sound like they have been arguing continuously for an hour without a break.

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  • what about after just waking up how long have I slept? (seems right or not)
    – Yves Lefol
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 9:09
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    "How long I have been sleeping?" is not a standard English question, I'd even say it was ungrammatical because there is no inversion between the subject and the auxiliary
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 9:19
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    @Mari-LouA I totally missed that! I'm going to clarify my answer.
    – stangdon
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 11:41
  • @stangdon I have heard, we can use the PP continuous if the action just stop "I have been running for 3h I am now tired". So, we cannot ask someone with PP continuous if the action has stopped?
    – safarie
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 13:20
  • @safarie you can, but you wouldn't because present perfect continuous is more "complicated" than a more simple form, and it isn't necessary here.
    – Esther
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 14:15

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