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  Present Perfect Continuous (Progressive) Tense

Grammar >>> Present Perfect Continuous (Progressive) Tense


 1. How to form the Present Perfect Continuous Tense?

 The Present Perfect Continuous is made by using the present form of the auxiliary verb "have"+past participle of the verb "to be"+-ing form of the main verb ("I have been doing"). To form questions we reverse the order of the pronoun and "have/has" (Have I, Has he ...?). This tense is rarely used in English.

Present Perfect Continuous (Progressive) Tense

Affirmative (Positive) Form

Negative Form

Question Form

 I have been  doing  I  have not been  doing  Have  I  been  doing?
 You have been  doing  You  have not been  doing  Have  you  been  doing?
 He has been  doing  He  has  not been  doing  Has  he  been  doing?
 She has been  doing  She  has  not been  doing  Has  she  been  doing?
 It has been  doing  It  has not been  doing  Has  it  been  doing?
 We have been  doing  We  have  not been  doing  Have  we  been  doing?
 You have been  doing  You  have not been  doing  Have  you  been  doing?
 They have been  doing  They  have not been  doing  Have  they  been  doing?

Contracted forms: I've, you've, she's, he's, etc.

Examples: 1. Jane has been playing the piano for five years.
  2. I haven't been smoking for a long time.
  3. Have you ever been thinking about moving to Canada?
  4. How long have you been reading that book?


   2. Using the Present Perfect Continuous Tense

   We use the Present Perfect Continuous to talk about an action which began in the past and has recently finished or just finished (without time words):

Examples:  1. Bob and Gloria have just come back from the park. They have been jogging and they are very tired now.
   2. Your shirt is so dirty. What have you been doing?
   3. Susan has been talking to Mike.

   We use the Present Perfect Continuous to say how long something has been happening. The action began in the past, continues in the present (or has just stopped), and may continue into the future (with time words since, for, all day, all afternoon, every day this year, etc.):

Examples:  1. Ann has been playing tennis for two hours. (Ann is playing tennis now. She began to play tennis two hours ago and she is still playing.)
   2. I have been waiting for my girlfriend since 6 o'clock.
   3. He has been smoking for ten years.
   4. Nancy has been skiing since she was 8 y.o.
   5. We have been living here for seven years.
   6. He has been watching TV all evening.
   7. We have been meeting every Friday this year.

   We can use the Present Perfect Continuous to express an action or general activity in progress (without time words or with recently, lately):

Examples:  1. Viktoria has been thinking about changing her job.
   2. Michael has been studying hard lately.
   3. Robert has been having problems with his back recently.

   3. Differences between the Present Perfect Continuous and the Present Perfect Simple.
 Remember that we use the Present Perfect Continuous to put emphasis on the duration of an activity or to say how long something has been happening. It is not important whether the action has been finished or not.
 When we are interested in the result and not in the action itself we can use the Present Perfect Simple. The action has results at present (it has been finished) or it may still continue in the present.
 Sometimes the Present Perfect Simple and the Present Perfect Continuous have identical or slightly different meaning:
   1. I have lived here for 6 years. (the situation may be permanent)
   2. I have been living here for 6 years. (the situation may be temporary)
 The state (stative) verbs such as be, know, own, like, hear, see, have (when we mean "possess"), think (when we mean "believe"), etc. do not normally have continuous form. We use them with the Present Perfect Simple.
   1. Jack and Barbara have known each other since early childhood.
   2. Tom has had this car for many years.








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