Present Perfect Continuous Tense
How do we make the Present Perfect Continuous Tense?
The structure of the present perfect continuous tense is:
|subject||+||auxiliary verb||+||auxiliary verb||+||main verb|
| || ||have|
| ||been|| ||base + ing|
Here are some examples of the present perfect continuous tense:
| ||subject||auxiliary verb|| ||auxiliary verb||main verb|| |
|+||I||have|| ||been||waiting||for one hour.|
|+||You||have|| ||been||talking||too much.|
|?||Have||they|| ||been||doing||their homework?|
When we use the present perfect continuous tense in speaking, we often contract the subject and the first auxiliary. We also sometimes do this in informal writing.
|I have been||I've been|
|You have been||You've been|
|He has been|
She has been
It has been
John has been
The car has been
The car's been
|We have been||We've been|
|They have been||They've been|
Here are some examples:
- I've been reading.
- The car's been giving trouble.
- We've been playing tennis for two hours.
How do we use the Present Perfect Continuous Tense?
This tense is called the present perfect continuous tense. There is usually a connection with the present or now. There are basically two uses for the present perfect continuous tense:
We use the present perfect continuous tense to talk about an action that started in the past and stopped recently. There is usually a result now.
|I'm tired because I've been running.|
|Recent action.||Result now.|| |
- I'm tired [now] because I've been running.
- Why is the grass wet [now]? Has it been raining?
- You don't understand [now] because you haven't been listening.
We use the present perfect continuous tense to talk about an action that started in the past and is continuing now. This is often used with for or since.
|I have been reading for 2 hours.|
|Action started in past.||Action is continuing now.|| |
- I have been reading for 2 hours. [I am still reading now.]
- We've been studying since 9 o'clock. [We're still studying now.]
- How long have you been learning English? [You are still learning now.]
- We have not been smoking. [And we are not smoking now.]
For and Since with Present Perfect Continuous Tense
We often use for and since with the present perfect tense.
- We use for to talk about a period of time - 5 minutes, 2 weeks, 6 years.
- We use since to talk about a point in past time - 9 o'clock, 1st January, Monday.
|a period of time||a point in past time|
|a long time||I left school|
|ever||the beginning of time|
Here are some examples:
- I have been studying for 3 hours.
- I have been watching TV since 7pm.
- Tara hasn't been feeling well for 2 weeks.
- Tara hasn't been visiting us since March.
- He has been playing football for a long time.
- He has been living in Bangkok since he left school.
For can be used with all tenses. Since is usually used with perfect tenses only.
Present Perfect Continuous Quiz