“I have never done it” vs “I have never been doing it”

“I have never been dating.”

I heard some non-native speaker said it. For me it should be just Present Perfect (“I have never dated.”) Because my grammar book says that an absence of some action in the past up to now calls for Present Perfect. And “I have never done it” sounds better to me, more succint. I have no idea how it differs from “I have never been doing it.”

I did search in Google, surprisingly, the continuous aspect (“been doing“) is 35 times more popular.


To your specific example, there are potential shades of meaning that the original speaker may or may not have intended. As I expect you are aware, to date means to spend time with someone that you have a romantic interest in. To be dating means that you are in a “committed relationship” with your romantic interest: you see each other regularly, you don’t date anyone else, and you consider yourselves “a couple”.

So it is actually possible that the speaker has dated (i.e. gone on dates with people) but has never been dating (i.e. progressed to the point of having a committed relationship with a particular individual).

Source : Link , Question Author : Graduate , Answer Author : Hellion

Leave a Comment