What is the best way to indicate that there have been ongoing conversations where one has continued to discuss the same topic over time?

He tells me that they are getting divorced. OR He has been telling me they are getting divorced. Or...

another idea?

What is preferable and why? Thank you.

closed as off-topic by Misti, ScotM, tchrist, Nicole, Drew Mar 25 '15 at 5:06

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  • "He keeps telling me ..."? – Kris Mar 24 '15 at 16:13
  • Hard to see what "commonly available references" could be used to easily answer this question. Voting to reopen. – phenry Mar 25 '15 at 19:31
  • "I've heard more than once that ..." shifts the focus from the source to the recipient, but it definitely contains a strong indicator that the information has been imparted repeatedly. – Sven Yargs Dec 19 '18 at 22:43

Better, with an adverb stressing the duration:

He has been telling me for months they are getting divorced.


Simple Present Tense may be used here - He tells me everyday that they are getting divorced. In this case 'they are getting divorced' means 'they will get divorced' in the near future.

Present Perfect Continuous Tense can also be used in the following way - He has been telling me for a long time that they are getting divorced.

Present Perfect Continuous Tense is used to describe an action which began at sometime in the past and is still continuing. So his action of telling me has began sometime in the past and he is telling me the same thing still now. So it is better to use Present Perfect Continuous Tense and also add a period of time (for a long time...) or a point of time (since three months...) to make it cent percent correct.


He reaffirms the fact that they are getting divorced.

Gives plenty of emphasis to the repetitive nature of the conversation.

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