Present Perfect Continuous‏‎ in English Grammar

We use the present perfect continuous in two ways:

1. to talk about an event which started in the past and is continuing now. We often use the words for and since with this tense.

I have been learning English for six years.
They have been living in Paris since July.

2. to talk about an event which lasted for some time and recently finished; the effects of this event are still apparent.

Why are you puffing? – I have been running.
I have been painting the house this weekend.


We make the present perfect continuous by using the present perfect of the verb to have (have/has been) and the present participle of the main verb.

{subject} + {have/has} + {been} + {present participle}
I have been reading.
She has been doing her homework.

Present Perfect: Simple or Continuous?

Both tenses are used to describe an action which finished a short while ago.

The simple tense tells us the action is completed and its result still has an effect.

I’ve read War & Peace but I found the end boring.

The continuous tense put the emphasis on the duration of the action, indicating that it went on for some time.

I’ve been reading War & Peace and I have almost finished it.

Posted in Parts of Speech.

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