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1.He has been watching TV.

What does this sentence mean?

Does it mean that the person started watching TV sometime before and still watching it or the person started watching TV sometime before and has stopped watching it? does it mean something else rather than my options?

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  • Welcome to ELL! IMHO, it could mean either of your two options, depending on the context. I strain to come up with any interpretation beside these two options. Jan 17, 2016 at 16:52

2 Answers 2

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The present perfect continuous has lots of applications. Its main definition states that an action began in the past and is still in progress.

Your ideas are right. The first one fits with the main definition. The second one is also used to describe the cause of something in the present.

He's been watching TV. That's why the TV is hot.

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You can use the present perfect continuation as follows:

  1. For an action that happens over a period of time leading up to the present such as "He has been watching TV for two hours".

  2. For an action that ends just before the present such as "He has been watching TV". That's why his homework is still pending.

  3. For a repeated action up to now such as "He has been watching TV since he was five".

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