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Good afternoon,

Some time ago I received an answer to the following question in the link: Present perfect progressive I have been doing

This question was about finding ways which grammar construction to use in Spanish for sentence in English "I have been doing something". In English this construction is used to express actions that began in the past, but are still continuing in the present. In the link above all grammar constructions in Spanish that are used require period of time to be specified (can be even vague, such as "for some time" - Llevo tiempo estudiando para aprender el idioma).

But what would be the best way in Spanish to say below?

I have been running to lose weight

In this case the meaning is that I was doing this and still continue doing it, AND at the same time period is not specified.

I bumped into the following structure when red the translation of lyrics of a song from English to Spanish (song is ATB - Let U Go):

I have been running like a sentence never begun - Estuve corriendo como una sentencia que nunca empezó

I never used construction "estuve + gerundio" and don't know if it is used frequently.

So, 2 questions: 1) How would you translate "I have been running to lose weight"? Please note, that we, of course, can say "I run to lose weight" or something similar, but I am asking about precisely construction "I have been -ing without time period specified" 2) In any case, what would be the difference in meaning between these 2 constructions mentioned?

He estado corriendo para perder un peso

vs

Estuve corriendo que perder un peso

Also, which version would you use in daily life (if you had to say this exact English sentence in Spanish)? Maybe there are other constructions that can be used?

P.S. I would not use "Estaba corriendo", because it would mean "I was running", which means technically that I was running when something else happened AND the action is not continued anymore (I am not running anymore).

  • If I get the idea, this is basically the same question as before but with no period specified, right? The translation of the song is beyond me; I don't get the meaning in English to begin with (only note that "sentence" as in "written or spoken phrase" translates as oración; Spanish sentencia is the kind of "sentence" that you get from a judge). – pablodf76 Oct 20 '19 at 14:25
  • I would question whether I have been running implies the action still continues. Q - why are you sweating? A - I have been running. – mdewey Oct 20 '19 at 15:50
  • Dear pablodf76, I edited my question to make it more clear. And yes, you are correct - basically the same question as before but with no period specified. Well noted about "sentencia". – Alex Oct 20 '19 at 16:02
  • Dear mdewey, yes, we can question if the action still continues. Two ways actually are equally possible, depending on context. In this link below stated that it can be used for past action recently stopped and past action still continued. englishclub.com/grammar/… – Alex Oct 20 '19 at 16:10
  • Basically I want to know which construction is the most closest one to "I have been doing" in English, but in cases when time period should not be specified (for some reasons). In my question I came up with "estuve haciendo" and "he estado haciendo" as possible closest ones, but not sure. – Alex Oct 20 '19 at 17:02
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About your final examples: both are used in normal verbal and written communication but their meanings are slightly different:

He estado corriendo para perder peso

The action that began in the past but it’s regularly being done currently although it is not necessary you to be doing it at the moment. I.e. you don’t need to be running now but should be part of your routine.

Estuve corriendo para perder peso

The action began in the past and finished in the past. This is progressive tense but does not implies routine: maybe you only ran once in order to loose weight.

Había estado corriendo para perder peso

Equivalent to the previous one but now the notion of routine is implied.

  • Dear Krauss, everything is clear now. Just wondering regarding last sentence "Había estado corriendo". What is the difference between this structure and two other ones: "solía correr" and "yo corría"? Is it correct to say that all three imply some kind of habits or routine done in the past (especially "solía correr")? I just never encountered the last structure you written anywhere used extensively. – Alex Oct 21 '19 at 15:06
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    “Había estado corriendo” has an equivalent meaning as “solía correr” but in the last one the routine is not implied but expressed. “Yo corría” or “corría” has a slightly different meaning; it implies the action happened concurrently with a different event or series of events. However, it’s quite correct to say “corría para bajar de peso” or “corría mientras bajaba de peso”. – Krauss Oct 21 '19 at 15:18
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For the first he sentence about an action started in the past and still going

I have been running to lose weight

Would correctly turn into

He estado corriendo para bajar (de) peso

About the differences, the example using "estuve" implies a thing of the past already concluded.

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