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    #1

    "have had" vs "have been having" a headache

    Hi,

    Is it possible to use 'have been having a headache'
    in any situation?

    Please take a look at the following exchange:

    A goes to the doctor for his headache problem.
    A: Dr. I have a headache.
    Dr: Do you have it now?
    A: Yes. It is very severe. I cannot work.
    Dr: Do you have it every day?
    A: Yes, I have it all the time. The whole day.
    Dr: Since when do you have this problem?
    A1: I have been having this problem since a year ago.
    A2: I have it for a year.
    Now, in A1, can A say "I have been having this headache
    for a year"? Or, should he say "I have had this headache for a year"?

    If the headache is not constant, but on and off, does it
    make any difference in what A should say?
    Such as,
    A3: I have been having heaches for a year.
    A4: I have had headaches for a year.
    Thanks

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "have had" vs "have been having" a headache

    Quote Originally Posted by englishstudent View Post
    Hi,

    Is it possible to use 'have been having a headache'
    in any situation?

    Please take a look at the following exchange:

    A goes to the doctor for his headache problem.
    A: Dr. I have a headache.
    Dr: Do you have it now?
    A: Yes. It is very severe. I cannot work.
    Dr: Do you have/get it every day?
    A: Yes, I have it all the time. The whole day.
    Dr: [Since] When did you start having/How long have you had this problem?
    A1: I have been having this problem for a year [ago].
    A2: I have it for a year.

    Now, in A1, can A say "I have been having these headaches
    for a year"? Or, should he say "I have had these headaches for a year"?
    (unless it really is constant).


    If the headache is not constant, but on and off, does it
    make any difference in what A should say?
    Such as,
    A3: I have been having headaches for a year. Better than -
    A4: I have had headaches for a year.
    Thanks
    Good try

    b


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    #3

    Re: "have had" vs "have been having" a headache

    Bob, thank you very much for the clarification.


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    #4

    Re: "have had" vs "have been having" a headache

    I have been having headachs for a year.

    I think, in other words, it could be said as, "I have been headches for a year". Because I learned that "have been having" coincides with "have been", so there is no need to write "having", as in the case of "I have known him for 3 years" instead of "I have been knowing him for three years".

    Please help me.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "have had" vs "have been having" a headache

    Quote Originally Posted by user_gary View Post
    I have been having headachs for a year.

    I think, in other words, it could be said as, "I have been headches for a year". Because I learned that "have been having" coincides with "have been", so there is no need to write "having", as in the case of "I have known him for 3 years" instead of "I have been knowing him for three years".

    Please help me.


    The state of knowing has been constant ever since they were introduced -> I have known him for 3 years. But when the action is not constant, it's right to use the present perfect progressive -> I have been seeing the same doctor for 20 years. This means that every time you see a doctor (maybe only once or twice a year) it's the same one.

    So, in the headaches example it would be right to say 'I have been having these headaches [off and on] for a year'. The present perfect in contexts like this, implies constant pain: 'I've had this headache for a week now'. I'm not sure what a doctor would think if you said 'I've had these headaches for a year' (he/she might assume that the headaches weren't continuous, but saying 'I've been having...' makes it clear that they haven't been.)


    b


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    #6

    Re: "have had" vs "have been having" a headache

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post


    The state of knowing has been constant ever since they were introduced -> I have known him for 3 years. But when the action is not constant, it's right to use the present perfect progressive -> I have been seeing the same doctor for 20 years. This means that every time you see a doctor (maybe only once or twice a year) it's the same one.

    [...]
    b
    Bobk, I liked this explanation. I had not quite thought of it like this.

    The word "knowing" came up in a conversation and I was reminded of
    your explanation. Here is the conversation:

    A: Does he know it?
    B: He must be knowing it.
    Is it correct to use "knowing" in this context? Or should B say
    something like "I think he knows it."

    Thanks

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    #7

    Re: "have had" vs "have been having" a headache

    A: Does he know it?
    B: He must be knowing it.

    B: He must know it.
    B: I think he knows it.


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    #8

    Re: "have had" vs "have been having" a headache

    Thanks Cas! :)

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