present perfect continuous with time and frequency


Senior Member
Persian (Farsi)
taken from an English grammar book written by a native English speaker:

Under the heading of "present perfect continuous":

Wrong: Mikhail has been repairing his car a number of times.
Right: Mikhail has been repairing his car since 6:00 A.M. this morning.
Right: Mikhail has repaired his car a number of times.

I don't understand what makes the first sentence wrong and what makes the other two right!
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The fact that he has done it a number of times implies that he finished the task each time (except perhaps the latest), so the continuous is not appropriate. Contrast this with:

    Mikhail has been painting his car a variety of different colors.

    In that example the entire process is one continuous action.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    Is the emphasis on the duration of the action, or the result (for example the total)?

    If the number of times you have done an action is specified, the emphasis is clearly on the total and the simple tense is required, not the continuous.
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