Eli5. What’s the difference between “She has used the bag for three years” and “She has been using the bag for three years”.

335 viewsOther

I encountered this earlier in my class and I can’t quite tell the difference. Please help. Non-native English speaker here 🥲

In: Other

13 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

The technical answer is the verb tense, but they are colloquially equivalent for American native speakers as far as I know.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Usually they’re semantically the same. “Has been using” can imply that the use was more active and regular than “has used” though.

Anonymous 0 Comments

English has a lot more verb tenses than Past, Present, and Future. Technically they are different tenses – Past Perfect and Past Perfect Continuous. Practically most Americans use them equivalently.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The first one allows the possibility that “she” has recently stopped using the bag, but has used it for the 3 years previously, wheras the second one implies she still uses the bag.

But I agree with other commenter, in common usage – most people will use these phrases interchangably.

Anonymous 0 Comments

In American English it means she needs a new purse.

In UK/Aussie English it means she needs rehab.

Anonymous 0 Comments

**”She has used the bag for three years.”**

* This is the PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE tense.
* The action started in the past and has just recently ended/completed.
* The pattern for this is “has + (past participle verb).”
* So, we can say that until recently, she used the bag for three years and will not use the bag anymore.

**”She has been using the bag for three years.”**

* This is the PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS tense.
* The action started in the past and has continued until now and will continue in the future.
* The pattern for this is “has + (verb+ing).”
* So, we can say that for the past three years she has been using the bag and will continue to use it later.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Native speaker. “Been using” sounds more intense, frequent, and personal. “Has used” feels more emotionally distant.

Anonymous 0 Comments

>“She has used the bag for three years”

For the past three years, she used the bag. She may or may not be using the bag now.

>“She has been using the bag for three years”

Today is the third year she has been using this bag.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Three examples:

1) “She **had** used the bag for three years” indicates she has since stopped using the bag. We don’t know which three years she used the bag, but she has stopped. **had** = past tense.

2) “She **has** used the bag for three years” does not indicate she has stopped using the bag. It implies she started using the bag three years ago and is still using it. **has** = present tense.

3) “She **has been using** the bag for three years” also does not indicate she has stopped using the bag. It also implies she started using the bag three years ago and is still using it.

2 and 3 mean the same.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Colloquially, they are often used interchangeably.

The technical difference is the verb tense and what that implies.

“She has used it” is the Present Perfect tense. The action happened in the past but is relevant to the present. It emphasizes a completed action.

“She has been using it” is the Present Perfect Continuous tense, where the action started in the past and has continued up until now. It emphasizes the ongoing action.