I've been sailing a few times


Senior Member

Here is a sentence from the story "Sailing a tall ship off the coast of Maine" by Alex Levito published by Reader's Digest, November 2007:
"Since that voyage, I've been sailing a few times."

Why is Present Perfect Continuous used here?
I have always thought that If I say how many times I have done something, it is Perfect Simple, but not Perfect Continuous.

Thank you for the time and help.
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Sailing" is not part of the verb but the name of an activity. "Have been" is the entire verb ("I go", "I went", "I have been"). Compare this sentence to:
    I've been to town a few times.
    I've gone sailing a few times.


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'Go sailing' is the activity: simple past 'went sailing'. The peculiarity is that in the perfect you can use either 'been' or 'gone': I've been sailing = I've gone sailing. This is also true for going to a place: I've been to Russia = I have gone to Russia (and have come back). This is only in the perfect - otherwise you can't use 'be sailing' ('am sailing' etc.) for other tenses of 'go sailing'; but they can still be used with the ordinary progressive use of 'be'.