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Thread: Had been having

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    #1

    Had been having

    Hello all,

    Could someome please explain me what does "had been having' means I actually do not have a context.

    But I hear this many times in songs and movies.

    Many thanks

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    #2

    Re: Had been having

    It's impossible to say without context.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: Had been having

    Would these contexts work?

    1) I know you must get lots of letters like this, but my husband admitted to me the other day that he had been having an affair with someone he met at work. He claims it's all over, but I don't think I can ever forgive him. Is our marriage finished?

    2) Pastor: Son accused of killing mom 'had been having visions.'

    Thanks

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    #4

    Re: Had been having

    Quote Originally Posted by farhankhan2007 View Post
    I know you must get lots of letters like this, but my husband admitted to me the other day that he had been having an affair with someone he met at work. He claims it's all over, but I don't think I can ever forgive him. Is our marriage finished?
    1: I am having an affair
    2. I have had an affair.
    3. I have been having an affair.


    1: The husband is speaking of the affair as something that is going on at the moment of speaking. It began before the present moment and will continue beyond the present moment,

    2: The husband is speaking of an affair that began and ended in a time period that extends from some past point in time up to the time of speaking. The affair has some relevance to the time of speaking.

    3. The husband is speaking of an affair that began in the past and has been going on until the time of speaking. The affair may or may not carry on into the future.

    If the man's wife reports those words, beginning with My husband admitted to me the other day that ...then 'has' can be backshifted to 'had'. So, his words in #3 can be reported as My husband admitted to me the other day that he had been having an affair ... . The affair began before the time he confessed to it, and was still going on at the time of his confession. It may or may not have carried on after that,

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    #5

    Re: Had been having

    Quote Originally Posted by farhankhan2007 View Post
    Pastor: Son accused of killing mom 'had been having visions.'
    This is an example of "headline English", a very compact version of the language. It means that a pastor who is named in the article said something about a male who has been accused of murdering his mother. This male, the "son" in the quote, had been suffering from hallucinations.

    This means the hallucinations began before the time the pastor was speaking, and continued up to that time.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #6

    Re: Had been having

    So when we say "I have had an affair" does it mean the affair began some time in past and it is still active at the time of speaking, it may not be in future, right?

    And when we say "had been having an affair" it means sometime in past it started and may or may not have ended in that past duration? This is past perfect I guess.

    Just like we say "I had been doing", I had been eating". So affair is something we "have" and not "do" etc. So we say had been having.
    Please correct me if I am wrong.

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    #7

    Re: Had been having

    Quote Originally Posted by farhankhan2007 View Post
    So when we say "I have had an affair" does it mean the affair began some time in past and it is still active at the time of speaking, it may not be in future, right?
    No. It means that you began an affair at some time in the past. It ended at some later time in the past.

    Quote Originally Posted by farhankhan2007 View Post
    And when we say "had been having an affair" it means sometime in past it started and may or may not have ended in that past duration? This is past perfect I guess.
    It's the past perfect continuous. That affair had begun before the referenced time and generally ended some time between then and now. I wrote "generally ended" because the speaker might add something like "To tell you the truth, it has never really ended."

    Quote Originally Posted by farhankhan2007 View Post
    Just like we say "I had been doing", I had been eating". So affair is something we "have" and not "do" etc. So we say had been having.
    That's correct. People have affairs; they don't do them.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #8

    Re: Had been having

    Oh! English is so confusing.
    So why cant we say directly that "I had an affair" rather than saying "I've had..."
    So if I understand if we use "I've had and give a time like since/for a year etc it means the activity still on and if I don't give a time frame it means it started and ended in some time in the past.
    1) I have stayed in Malaysia (I started staying there sometime in the past and I don't stay there any more)
    2) I have stayed in Malaysia for the past 2 years ( I started staying here 2 years ago and still staying here while I speak)

    I am sorry for asking too many questions

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    #9

    Re: Had been having

    Quote Originally Posted by farhankhan2007 View Post
    Oh! English is so confusing. Yes, we know that!

    So why can't we say directly that "I had an affair" rather than saying "I've had..."
    We can say "I had an affair". Context dictates which verb form we use.

    So, if I understand it correctly, if we use "I've had" and give a time like "since/for a year" etc it means the activity is still going on and if I don't give a time frame it means it started and ended in some time in the past.
    Yes.
    I've had a headache for a week = I have a headache now and it started a week ago.
    I've had a headache = At some point in my life, I have experienced a headache.


    1) I have stayed in Malaysia. (I started staying there sometime in the past and I don't stay there anymore.)
    2) I have stayed in Malaysia for the past 2 years. (I started staying here 2 years ago and still staying here while I speak.)
    If you change the verb in both to "lived", they will be more natural and your understanding of each will be correct.

    I am sorry for asking too many questions.
    See above.

    It's good that you're keen but sometimes so many questions in one post can get confusing. Try to limit yourself to one question per post.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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