What are the differences for:

  1. Llevo estudiando "XYZ"
  2. He estado estudiando "XYZ"
  3. Estoy estudiando "XYZ"

If I want to say "I have been studying a lot of AI topics for my research," can I say "Estoy estudiando mucha inteligencia artificial para mi investigación"? Would this mean I just start studying and I will continue doing so? Or would it mean I've been studying for a while?

  • 1
    Option 3 just means you are currently doing it, with no implication of past history or future intent. Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 23:27
  • To add to @VladimirNu correct answer that BTW does not address your 3rd question I'd like to add that depending on what you want to say you could use "mucha" o "mucho". "Estoy estudiando mucha IA" = (I'm studying lots of AI) or "Estoy estudiando mucho IA" = (I'm studying a lot about AI)
    – DGaleano
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 13:15

1 Answer 1


The first option is incomplete, you need to specify for how long:

Llevo estudiando español tres meses. = I've been studying spanish for three months.

Llevo tres meses estudiando español. = For the last three months I've been studying spanish.

Llevo estudiando mucho tiempo. = I've been studying for so/too long

Llevo tres días estudiando para mi examen final. = For the last 3 days I've been studying for my exam.

He estado estudiando para mi examen los últimos 3 días.

The meaning of this would be:

I have been studying for my exam for the last three days.

On the other hand you can omit the when and say like this:

He estado estudiando para mi examen, por eso no he tenido tiempo de llamarte.

He estado estudiando español durante mucho tiempo.

I have been studying for my exam, that's why I haven't call you.

I have been studying spanish for a long time.

And then you have this:

Estuve estudiando todo el fin de semana.

I was studying the whole weekend.

Does it make it more clear?

  • Yes, I understand now. Thank you for your explanation. I appreciate it. Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 0:07
  • I'm glad to help Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 0:20

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