Time Spent – Have Been Doing

When we want to express “have been doing something for a period of time up to now”, we can use the following two types of Time Spent sentences.

Notes: In a Time Spent Sentence, when the Verb has an Object, 的 is added in between the Time Spent and the Object.

Pattern 1

S V Time Spent O - 了
(yǐjīng) xué le liǎngnián de hànyǔ le.
(已经) 学 两年 汉语 了。

I have been learning Chinese for two years.

(yǐjīng) zuò le shígè xiǎoshí de chē le.
(已经) 坐 十个 小时 车 了。

I have been travelling by car for ten hours.

gēge (jīntiān) dǎ le sāngè xiǎoshí de yǔmáoqiú le.
哥哥 (今天) 打 三个 小时 羽毛球 了。

My brother has been playing badminton for three hours today.

Pattern 2

S-V- O V NU-M Phrase
tā gǎnmàokésou, le liǎngtiān le.
他 感冒咳嗽, 两天 了。

He has been coughing for two days.

gūgu xué hányǔ, xué le liùgèyuè le.
姑姑 学 韩语, 六个月 了。

My aunt has been learning Korean for six months.

māma páiduì, pái le yígèxiǎoshí le.
妈妈 排队, 一个小时 了。

Mom has been queuing for an hour.

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