I have learned the present perfect progressive on youtube and some other sources. It's clear that the tense implies something that started in the past and continues in the present.

However, what does a negative form of that tense mean?

For example:

She hasn't been going to school.

What does this imply? What is the difference between it and this one:

She didn't go to school.

2 Answers 2


It indicates a temporary state that started in the recent past and continues to the present.

So "She hasn't been going to school" means that she "recently" stopped going to school. The understanding of "recent" is contextual, but in this context I'd understand it to mean "for a few months, for less than a year".

In the negative it implies that "she used to go to school", and you would infer "I expect her to go to school".

  • So She hasn't been going to school equals she recently stopped going to school, right? Oct 16, 2022 at 7:26

Present perfect progressive refers to a temporary, ongoing situation. In the negative version, this temporary, ongoing situation refers to some action not happening.

So your example sentence means that these days she doesn't go to school, but this isn't a permanent situation. This strongly suggests that it started recently, but it's not necessarily the case.

The simple past version means at some time in the past she didn't go to school. This has no connection to the present.

You must log in to answer this question.

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