Skip to main content
31 votes

Why can't we say "I have been having a dog"?

Question: So I can say "I have been playing the guitar since I was 6" but "I have been having a dog since I was 6" sounds incorrect. Why? Answer: To play a guitar is an activity. It can have ...
Lambie's user avatar
  • 46.9k
17 votes

Why can't we say "I have been having a dog"?

Dynamic verbs such as "play", "work", "drink" etc. can express actions in progress, e.g. he is working, he has been working, they are drinking, they have been drinking. The Present Continuous and the ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
  • 27.9k
14 votes
Accepted

I finally watched the video YouTube HAS / HAD been recommending for weeks

If YouTube is still recommending the video, than "has been recommending" is correct. There is a continuous process of "recommending" that began in the past and continues to the present. If YouTube ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 68k
12 votes
Accepted

Can "has been smoking" be used in this situation?

In general, yes both are correct. There is no implicit minimum amount of time or instances implied by using a perfect progressive verb form (‘has/have/had been Xing’). However, context can have ...
Austin Hemmelgarn's user avatar
10 votes

Can "has been smoking" be used in this situation?

Yes. There's nothing about the activity of smoking that implies only one cigarette, or about the number at all. Just that there has been some. Likewise, if you see crumbs, you could say "someone ...
mattdm's user avatar
  • 1,567
9 votes

Why can't we say "I have been having a dog"?

Mari-Lou's answer is correct for your context. However there's an important point to be careful of here. He is having a wife and two children. As Mari-Lou says, this is incorrect. But... He ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 2,585
9 votes

Can "has been smoking" be used in this situation?

Yes, this is correct. "Smoking" is an action that does not have a minimum number of cigarettes. Even if it was only part of one it would still be "smoking."
puppetsock's user avatar
  • 2,059
8 votes
Accepted

They do something for 20 years. Isn't the phrase grammatically wrong?

If this was a filmed interview, it is likely just a mistake for People ask, and have been asking for twenty years, ... which is perfectly good American English. When people are being interviewed ...
Jeff Morrow's user avatar
  • 32.1k
6 votes

present perfect continuous to complain?

It all depends on the frequency of coffee spilling on your couch. Let's say that you walk into a room and see coffee all over your couch. If this is abnormal, you would probably say Who spilt ...
Kman3's user avatar
  • 2,807
5 votes
Accepted

Can Present Perfect Continuous and Present Continuous have the same meaning?

Q: Can Present Perfect Continuous and Present Continuous have the same meaning? Yes, there are often times when there is very little difference between the two, and they pretty much mean the same ...
J.R.'s user avatar
  • 110k
5 votes

Is my English tutor mistaken? Perfect tenses seem incorrect in this sentence

You use different ways to describe different things. Each of the four ways you said are correct in the right situation. So insisting that only one can be used is daft. Continuous vs simple is about ...
gnasher729's user avatar
  • 3,877
5 votes

it's been burned for two hours

No, you would say "It's been burning for two hours" This is a continuous sense (indicated by the "for two hours") and so the continuous aspect is favoured.
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
5 votes

How long have I been sleeping?

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 ...
stangdon's user avatar
  • 40.9k
5 votes
Accepted

what happens in the following I have been traveling since I was ten years old

With the verb "travel", both interpretions are possible. Literally the continuous form of the verb suggests continuous travel, but pragmatically most people would understand it to mean "...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
4 votes
Accepted

Why is my hair wet?

Both are possible, with very little difference in meaning. It is also possible to use simple past Because I washed it (five minutes ago); I just washed it. or past continuous Because I was ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
4 votes
Accepted

Present simple or present perfect continuous to express routine

Both are possible. Obviously the second refers to the person's habit until the present moment, but in practice both questions mean the same.
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 57.4k
4 votes

I've been running three times a week

The continuous tense can be used when talking about an action that has become habitual. We wouldn't say I've been drinking three cups of coffee this morning. but we can say I've been drinking ...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 57.4k
3 votes

what I have been reading vs what I have read

You've tagged the question present-perfect and present-perfect-progressive so I assume you know the definitions. "what I have been reading" This is present perfect continuous or progressive and ...
Ariane Kh Anderson's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Present perfect & present continous

Present perfect tense is used to talk about completed activities that took place within a period of time that extends to and includes the present moment. I have read this book for two weeks. ( ...
mahmud k pukayoor's user avatar
3 votes

Tom has been wanting a computer for two years

Yes. No. Often implies that the thought only occurred to him occasionally, so it would have to be during the past two years. No. If you say I've always wanted X, obviously it doesn't mean literally ...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 57.4k
3 votes
Accepted

"just" in present perfect continuous

Nice observation. Yes, it means that the action concluded. I've just been touring Europe. Now it's time to settle into life at home again. Sometimes people will say "finished" or "...
Luke Sawczak's user avatar
  • 13.1k
3 votes

Who has been drawing these pictures?

If this was the only occasion the pictures were there, the teacher might ask "Who drew these pictures?" If similar pictures had been there previously the teacher might ask "Who has been ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 7,567
3 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between Present perfect and Present perfect continuous in cases where action doesn't have any result

The present perfect would be true in this case if rain had fallen even once that week. It simply addresses whether or not there has been any rain. Using the present perfect continuous implies that ...
Biblasia's user avatar
  • 1,532
3 votes

Why is present perfect used here?

No. Arrive is a point event: it is very rare to use it in a continuous construction. In fact, the only ways in which I can think of that it might be used are either sarcastic: She's been arriving for ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 76.2k
2 votes

Present Perfect vs Present Perfect Continuous

"Over the centuries" and "history" indicate a block period of time in the past; hence the past simple tense. The river is important in the past and may or may not continue to be so. In order to ...
Paul Childs's user avatar
2 votes

The verb form IN a since-clause

It's a subtle aspectual difference, but in the following construction, the tea-drinker's drinking began no earlier than the moment he was seated, not no earlier than the moment he sat. Since you've ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 130k
2 votes

What is the difference between present perfect progressive and present perfect?

Actually the present perfect has several uses. Sometimes it indicates a recently completed event: The race has finished. Sometimes it indicates a life experience: I have visited Japan many ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 88.4k
2 votes
Accepted

The Perfect Continuos Forms

(1) is correct. Both versions of (2), with their respective interpretations, are fine. The present perfect continuous is clearer in that the action continues in the present, along with its ...
Gustavson's user avatar
  • 4,136
2 votes

present perfect simple or continuous

Yes that works but it sounds a little unnatural to me - In this case I would probably say "I can't sleep because I (just) watched a scary movie." But I would also say "I can't sleep because I have ...
Doarn's user avatar
  • 880
2 votes
Accepted

present perfect continuous for an action recently stopped

Yes. That would be a correct use of the present perfect continuous, for the reasons that you give.
James K's user avatar
  • 226k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible