Is it correct to use MANY with the present perfect continuous?

I have been watching TV many times lately.


I have been watching TV many times lately when Jake dropped by.

2 Answers 2


Adverbs, like "lately," and adverbials, like "many times," are verb-tense agnostic: they can be applied to a verb of any tense, provided the rest of the sentence grammar is correct.


Your first example seems a bit odd to this native speaker of American English. “Have been watching” implies “at one or more points in time.” Thus, “I have been watching TV for two hours” implies that at the moment when I utter the statement my watching is ongoing and has continued over the past two hours.” Similarly, I understand your second example to mean that there have been many occasions recently in which John dropped by while (which is to say at a point in time when) I was watching TV.

Returning to your first example, I find it unnatural because it seems to suggest something like, “Using an alarm that is programmed to sound at random intervals, I have noticed lately that at many moments when it does sound I have happened to be watching TV.” I suspect that what you intend your example to mean is, “I have been watching TV a lot lately.”

In any event, to answer your exact question (independent of your examples), yes many can be used without introducing any problems. Consider, “I have been watching TV many hours a day while I am stuck in bed recovering.”

You must log in to answer this question.

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