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  1. Have you still been in love?
  2. Are you still in love? Could you explain about the grammar of the first sentence? Tqvm!

closed as unclear what you're asking by Cascabel, Drew, choster, aparente001, David Jul 1 '17 at 13:08

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  • Welcome to EL&U. When asking a question at StackExchange, you must be clear as to the context and demonstrate your initial attempts at research; as it stands, it's not clear why you do or do not think one or the other sentence is grammatically incorrect. I strongly recommend you take the site tour and review the help center for a better understanding of how to formulate good, answerable questions. Our sister site for English Language Learners may be of interest; they have similar guidelines, however. – choster Jun 8 '17 at 4:03
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I can't think of any proper usage of "have you still been..." You would ask, "Are you still working out?" or "Have you been working out?"

Here's the difference: "Are you still working out?" This refers to an unfinished action that occurs repeatedly or continuously. "Have you been working out?" This refers to a completed action or actions.

The tricky part is that both those grammatical structures could mean the same thing.

For example, if your friend told you a month ago that he plans to work out three times a week for the next year, either of the questions above would mean "Did you work out three times a week for the past month?" The reason you can use either "still" or "have been" is that you're referring to a set of completed actions ("have been") that occurred repeatedly and are, in a sense, in progress because they might keep occurring repeatedly ("still"). In fact, colloquially, someone might even say, "Have you been working out still?" but that's not a common usage.

However, in different contexts, each question can mean something that the other question can't.

For example, if your friend told you an hour ago that he planned to work out before meeting you for dinner, you could call him and ask, "Are you still working out?" In this example, the question would mean, "Have you finished today's workout yet?" You're referring to an activity that might still be in progress. You can't use "Have you been working out?" to mean the same thing.

But let's say you happened to see your friend one afternoon and he was all sweaty and wearing gym clothes. You could ask, "Have you been working out?" Your question would mean, "Did you just finish working out?" Or, more generally, "What have you been doing that made you all sweaty?" You're referring to a completed activity, not an activity in progress.

As for your "in love" example, those are two very different questions. "Are you still in love?" implies that there is a particular person your friend was in love with the last time you checked. You want to know if he is still in love with that person.

"Have you been in love?" means "have you ever been in love with anyone?" That's a completed action -- he was in love and then he fell out of love, maybe several times, with different people.

Note: You would never ask "Have you been in love?" but always "Have you ever been in love?" Maybe that's colloquial, but it would sound strange to omit the word "ever." It would be okay to ask, "Have you been to Paris?" (since that is obviously a completed action with a beginning and an end) but not "Have you been in love?" You need the word "ever" to emphasize that you are referring to a completed action and to place the completed action in time.

Hope this helps.

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"Have you still been in love?" is grammatically incorrect. There are two ways to rephrase this:

  1. Are you still in love?
  2. Have you ever been in love?

"Have you still been..." refers to a repetitive experience presently occurring, not a single event already experienced.

  • So is "have you still been working out?" Correct? When to use "have you still been"? tqvm! – Haizek Jun 8 '17 at 4:16

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