Margarita
Present Perfect Continuous

Hi, guys! How are you?

I have some doubts here with translating one sentence from Russian to English, to be more exact if I need to use Present Perfect Continuous or something different in it. Here is the idea itself: "Recently, my son has been going to bed really late. I'm worried that he isn't getting enough sleep these days." So does the first sentence give you the idea that let's say a month ago my son changed his sleeping habits and he started falling asleep at 2 a.m. instead of healthy 10 p.m. and he did this again two weeks ago, a week ago too and 2 days ago and today, etc.? Or it gives you some other idea after reading? 

Answers from everyone will be appreciated but I'm especially interested in native speakers' opinion on this.

Thanks! Have a good time, everyone!

Jun 5, 2018 8:04 PM
Comments · 6

Margarita,

If you remove the word recently, then you can say "My son goes to bed late"  The word recently pretty much forces you to say "Recently, my son has been going to bed late."  You are looking at time that started in the past all the way up to right now in the present.

My son goes to bed late is fine in the present tense without the word recently.  It implies something that routinely happens. " I play saxophone." "I jump up and down and scream a lot."

June 6, 2018

Using the word recently tells us that the activity (i.e., going to bed) began some unknown amount of time in the past and recently also suggests that it may have happened once or has happened several times or even all the time (e.g., every night).

But recently does not tell us how often this activity occurred.

The verb tense, the present perfect continuous, tells us that the activity began in the past and has been continuing since it started.

So, "Recently, my son has been going to bed really late," tells us that the activity started in the past and has been happening continuously, on a regular basis, every night.

The use of the present perfect continuous is correct.

June 5, 2018
Your translation is correct.  The sentence implies that in a "recent" period of time, your son has been going to bed really late and that action continues to the present.  Adding the "recently" is important for context.  Only writing "my son has been going to bed really late" is ambiguous, because it is a continuous action that has an undefined duration of time.  
June 5, 2018

Hi Margarita!

Yes both sentences are correct, in the present perfect continuous. It gives the reader the idea that it has now become a habit of his and that he continues to do it. "Recently" can mean any length of time. You can usually use recently if the continuous action is after a few days of it happening, and also up to at least a couple of months. After that maybe you'd say something like "My son started to go to bed late" etc. Hope that made sense!

June 5, 2018
I would say it is the wrong choice of tense.  
June 5, 2018
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