Can anybody explain the meaning of these sentences?

  1. He has started taking antidepressants.
  2. He has been taking antidepressants.
  3. He has taken antidepressants.
  4. He took antidepressants.
  • 2
    The fourth one is just plain wrong.
    – hjpotter92
    Mar 24, 2013 at 5:35
  • Read about Tenses. That will help!
    – Mistu4u
    Mar 24, 2013 at 8:58
  • 2
    Welcome to ELL. There are a couple of problems with this question. 1) None of your examples is a complete sentence. Take is a transitive verb, meaning it requires a Direct Object. 2) Even if you supply a Direct Object, explaining the full 'meaning' of just one of these forms would require a longer answer than can be given here. Why don't you tell us, in as much detail as possible, what you do and don't understand, and perhaps that will narrow the subject enough for us to help you. Mar 24, 2013 at 9:31

1 Answer 1


He has started taking antidepressants.

It'll be used in the case when he has recently started the process of taking those antidepressants.

He has been taking antidepressants.

It'll be used to signify that a significant time has passed since he started taking the antidepressants.

He has taken antidepressants.

This and the first one are similar in context of time-frame. But this will just mean that he has taken the antidepressants for a particular time while the first one will mean that he either has a habit of taking antidepressants or he has been prescribed for it.

He took antidepressants.

Similar to the previous one. The tense here is past, where as in the has taken case, it was past-participle.

You must log in to answer this question.

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