I guess I’m going to go pretty deep with this question, and I feel it’s going to be hard to explain my point, so I’m asking you to put some effort into trying to understand the question.

When a native speaker hears or says sentences with present perfect or present perfect continuous, how do they perceive the grammar structures? Are they monoliths to them or each word still has its meaning?

E.g. when they say “I have been doing something”, is “have been doing” a monolith, just a form of the verb “do”, or “have” is “have”, “been” is “bean” and “doing” is “doing”?
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I would say that native speakers don't usually think of grammar consciously, In fact, most don't even know terms like 'present perfect'.
I''d say that such a sentence is perceived monolithically at a sentence level.

Is this not also true for native speakers of your native language?
CliveI would say that native speakers don't usually think of grammar consciously, In fact, most don't even know terms like 'present perfect'.
I didn't intend they do. They may not know what the Present Perfect is but they use it.
CliveIs this not also true for native speakers of your native language?
Yes and no. A sentence is more than its words and has its own meaning, but words have meanings as well.
Its not like that until I hear the whole sentence words mean nothing.

The image starts to build up from the moment when I hear the first word. But of course some parts of the image are corrected or removed when new words come in.
CliveI''d say that such a sentence is perceived monolithically at a sentence level.
So when someone says "I have..." and you haven't heard the other words yet, "I" is used for the image and "have" is sort of holds on in the buffer?

P.S. Don't get me wrong, I'm not asking if any native is able to analize what is going on in thier head when they say or hear something. I know not everyone can do it. But, their is always something that is going on in your head, whether you can analyze it or not.
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What's "been" for you? Is the fact that it relates to "be" matters, or is it just a helper word for building constructions like "I have been doing something"?
I have . . . just sits in the buffer momentarily.

I think 'been' is just a minor helper.

The process of perception is so fast, that it's hard to understand. If I were you, I would study it first in your own language. But perhaps you have already done this?.

What is perception anyway? eg Is it word-based? Image-based? I don't know.
Thanks for your answers Clive!
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Pavel Tarouts I guess I’m going to go pretty deep with this question, and I feel it’s going to be hard to explain my point, so I’m asking you to put some effort into trying to understand the question. When a native speaker hears or says sentences with present perfect or present perfect continuous, how do they perceive the grammar structures? Are they monoliths to them or each word still has its meaning?E.g. when they say “I have been doing something”, is “have been doing” a monolith, just a form of the verb “do”, or “have” is “have”, “been” is “bean” and “doing” is “doing”?
Interesting question. I assume your native language, unlike English, has a lot of endings. To ask if the auxiliary verbs in English have a meaning of their own is like asking if the endings in your language have meanings of their own. Such entities have functional meaning, not lexical meaning. Auxiliary verbs in English are probably perceived much the same as grammatical endings are perceived in your language. They make no sense, i.e., convey no lexical meaning, on their own. They are merely the "shells" into which the lexical meanings are "poured".

Present perfect continuous, lexical content: Leonard has been working in the garden.
Present perfect continuous, functional content: Leonard has been working in the garden.

So what IS the present perfect continuous? It's either has been ---ing or have been ---ing, sensed as a sort of unit of functional meaning. These are the coordinated elements that build up to "present perfect continuous", or rather the "feeling" of a certain aspect and time (continuing activity which started in the past) applied to whatever lexical item we plug into that pattern. "talk", "watch", "run", etc. Combining functional patterns with lexical meanings becomes second nature to native speakers (in any language), so a great deal of learning another language is learning (the "meanings" of) its functional patterns (perceived as units rather than as separate words), its vocabulary, AND how to plug the vocabulary into the functional patterns.

(You will go crazy if you try to comprehend separate meanings in each of the words "will", "have", "been", "...ing" in a combination like "will have been watching".)

CJ
CalifJimInteresting question. I assume your native language, unlike English, has a lot of endings.
That’s right. It’s Russian. It has a lot of endings (and prefixes, and suffixes).
CalifJimTo ask if the auxiliary verbs in English have a meaning of their own is like asking if the endings in your language have meanings of their own
To me they are similar in a way, but the English functional words seem to be a bit more. They are used not only as functional words; they are “real” words in the first place, like “have” and “be”.

Is it right that for natives “have” in “I have been walking” and that in “I have a car” don’t have a smallest bit in common?
CalifJimSuch entities have functional meaning, not lexical meaning ...
I believe that everything is like you said, and thank you for the answer, but there are still some doubts that I have expressed my point right.

I’ll just write what is my problem and how I dealt with it, maybe you’ll point out what did I do wrong, and what should I do.

The problem is often not being able to digest sentences with verbs in Perfect Continuous forms from the first take.

Here is an example of how I perceived them (or still perceive, I don't know exactly).

I
ok, he. That’s going to be about an action performed by him.

have
he has something, I see

been
Oh, something complicated is coming, the “have” was not a real “have”.
What is it gonna be? The Present Perfect? The Present Perfect Continuous?

walking
It’s the Present Perfect Continuous but which one?

Was he walking a short time ago and is he just reporting that the action took place to the moment of speaking,
or
did the walking happen in a more distant past time period and he’s reporting the results of it?

That’s the moment when I repeat the whole “I have been walking” (or reread it, if I’m reading) meditating on it for a second.

.
I thought about why it had been so hard, and came to a conclusion that it might be because I had been trying to do all the work of building the image at the very last moment, after I heard the main verb.

So decision was to split the work, and somehow visualize “have” and “been” before I hear the main verb.

Then I found out that there were already visualizing reflexes linked with “have”, “been” and words like “walking” and they were bad ones.
“have” was like “have” as a main verb,
“been” tended to be perceived as “being”, even if I read it,
and “walking” was like a name of the activity ( - What is it you are doing? - It’s walking)
So unconsciously it transformed to “I have being walking” and spoiled the image.

So I thought I had two reasons to grow images of “have”, “been” and “…-ing”.
One was to be able to do some work building the image before I heard the main verb
and the other was to fix wrong visualization reflexes already connected with the words.

As a training method I chose to repeat sentences with Russian words and English grammar, with the Present Perfect Continuous and other Perfect Continuous forms.

It sounded very weird, but it gave a very strong feeling that what was going on in my head was exactly what should be when I speak or hear same sentences in English.

That gave a feeling that I’m on the right way.

The end of the story :-)

One might want to ask “Why so complicated? Are you the first Russian learning English? Can you just do what people do and you’ll have what they have?”

Well, I believe Russians generally don’t have a success with the issue, especially if they are not living abroad. But I still want to try.

Why do I need it if nobody does? - I don't know, I love the language.
Pavel TaroutsIs it right that for natives “have” in “I have been walking” and that in “I have a car” don’t have a smallest bit in common?
Yes. Almost nothing in common except the spelling! It's common in English for a word to have more than one meaning. (bank - a financial institution; bank - the land at the edge of a river), so this factor doesn't surprise us or bother us.

An aside: You might do better with Spanish. There, have of possession is tener, and auxiliary have is haber. And be of the continuous is estar, and be of the passive is ser. That separates everything more clearly than English does. English just uses the same words all over the place for different functions. I agree it's a mess for learners, but that's just how it is.
Pavel TaroutsThe problem is often not being able to digest sentences with verbs in Perfect Continuous forms from the first take.
That's understandable. It takes quite a lot of practice reading and speaking before the English verb system comes together for learners.
Pavel TaroutsAs a training method I chose to repeat sentences with Russian words and English grammar,
That often works for pulling out the meaning of idioms, but idioms contain lexical items. I don't think it's as useful for functional words, though I can't say that you will be completely unsuccessful. Maybe this method will help.
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You might try repetition exercises. Make a list of verbs. Then repeat the same tense for each verb in the list. Even if you don't try to understand exactly what you're saying, the repetition tends to give you a way of sensing automatically which patterns are right. And it helps you hear combinations of auxiliaries as groupings.

He is walking. He is talking. He is sleeping. He is looking. ...
I have walked, I have talked. I have slept. I have looked. ...

Then go through a set of tenses with the same verb.

She has walked. She has been walking. She had walked. She had been walking. ...
Mary has slept. Mary has been sleeping. Mary had slept. Mary had been sleeping. ...

It takes between 400 and 500 repetitions of a pattern before it sets in your brain, but don't try to do all those repetitions in the same session! Spread things out over weeks and months.

CJ
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