We've <done> <been doing> the experiment three times now

Mnemon

Senior Member
Pārsi - Persian
Choose the correct answer, A, B, or C.
------------- the experiment three times now with different results each time!
A. we've done
B. we did
C. we've been doing
(Source: Cambridge Grammar for IELTS book)
Book's answer: A

Actually I think "C" is more appropriate than "A" in the sentence.
Please share your opinion with me.
Thanks!
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    A is correct because it refers to a specific number experiments, and they have all been completed. The present perfect continuous does not indicate completion. For this to work, the number of experiments would not have been mentioned, so you could say "We've been doing the experiment with different results each time", implying that they still are doing (repeating) the experiment.
     

    Mnemon

    Senior Member
    Pārsi - Persian
    Thank you very much Uncle Jack.

    That's true. But in the sentence I don't get the implication of completion.
    It could also mean, we've done the experiment three times now and now are on the fourth time.
    - we've been doing the experiment three times now with different results each time!
     
    Last edited:

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Thank you very much Uncle Jack.

    That's true. But in the sentence I don't get the implication of completion.
    It could also mean, we've done the experiment three times now and now are on the fourth time.
    - we've been doing the experiment three times now with different results each time!
    They might be doing more experiments; the sentence does not say either way. However, "three times now" together with "different results each time" shows that they have so far completed three experiments, and this is what the sentence is talking about.
     

    Boris Tatarenko

    Senior Member
    - we've been doing the experiment three times now with different results each time!
    It does not work.

    We have been doing this experiment for three hours. It's so boring!
    We have done the exact same experiment for three times! = You started in the past, have done 3 (they are completed) experiments SO FAR, you might do more experiments.
     

    Oddmania

    Senior Member
    French
    If you said "We've been doing the experiment three times...", it would suggest to me that you'd been repeatedly carrying out an unspecified number of attempts, and that each attempt consisted in doing the experiment three times. That would be the 'present perfect' version of "We'll be doing three attempts, several times in a row".

    "We've done the experiment three times" is simply the 'present perfect' version of "We'll do the experiment three times".
     
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