I'd like to know if both sentences could be possible.

  • We've gone / We've been going to the same dentist since we were children.
  • You've worn / You've been wearing that coat for years.

Thank you in advance.


I would go with the present perfect progressive here (the second set of options).

The present perfect tends to be used to describe events rather than ongoing processes. There is no "internal structure" to events described with the present perfect. But the present perfect progressive shows that something has been ongoing and is possibly continuing now.

For example, take the sentence "I have tried caviar." This simply means that at some point in the past, you have eaten caviar, and that this has some relevance to the current state/conversation. For example, if someone offered you caviar, you might say:

I have tried caviar, but I didn't like it.

However, the progressive form, "I have been trying caviar" suggests that you have been regularly eating caviar, perhaps trying to acquire a taste for it, this could lead to a response like:

I've been trying caviar, but I still don't like it.

So because wearing a coat and going to a dentist are continuous actions that are done with some regularity, rather than single events, go with

We've been going to the same dentist since we were children.


You've been wearing that coat for years.

  • 3
    Tim Foster may consider the second option preferable, but in fact both versions are acceptable. – Kate Bunting Mar 11 at 12:50
  • @KateBunting Yes, sorry, should have mentioned that both forms are grammatically correct, but I think the progressive form makes the meaning clearer in these cases. – Tim Foster Mar 11 at 12:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.