Present Perfect Continuous Tense

1. Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Present Perfect Continuous Tense is a way we talk about actions that started in the past, are still happening now, and might keep going. It's made by putting "has" or "have" with "been" and the verb ending in "-ing."

This tense helps us show that something began before and is ongoing, connecting the past and the present.

We use Present Perfect Continuous Tense when we want to focus on actions that began in the past, are still going on, or just stopped recently. It's handy for emphasizing how long something has been happening.

💡 Note: Present Perfect Continuous Tense is also used when we talke about actions that have recently finished, but we can see their results or evidence.

1.1 Structure of sentences in Present Perfect Continuous Tense:

Auxiliary verbs “has been” and "have been" are used in this tense.

Note: “Since” or “for” is used before the “time reference”.

For + A period of time (for two days, for three hours, for a month)

Since + A point of time (since morning, since yesterday, since last night, since 8 o'clock)

Present Perfect Continuous Tense

2. Example Sentences:

2.1 Affirmative Sentences:

  • She has been reading since morning.

  • He has been working on this project since yesterday.

  • It has been raining for two days.

  • They have been waiting for three hours.

  • I have been feeling tired since morning.

  • I have been cooking since morning.

  • She has has been sleeping for two hours.

  • They have been playing since morning.

2.2 Negative Sentences:

Structure: subject + has not been" + present participle, or

Structure: subject + have not been + present participle

  • She has not been watching t.v. for four hours.

  • He has not been living in this house since 2008.

  • I have not been working on computer since yesterday.

  • They have not been waiting for two hours.

  • It has not been raining for two days.

2.3 Interrogative Sentences:

Structure: has or have + subject + been + present participle

  • Has he been talking to me for three hours?

  • Have they been cooking this food since last night?

  • Have you been learning English for three years?

  • Has he been working here since 1998?

  • Has she been writing a book for two months?

3. Common mistakes:

When using Present Perfect Continuous Tense, be careful with stative verbs verbs. Stative verbs like "believe," "own," "understand," "like," and "hate" are incompatible with continuous tenses; these verbs cannot be used to show ongoing actions.

Take a look at the following examples:

Example 1:

Incorrect: I am liking chocolate.

Correct: I like chocolate.

Example 2:

Incorrect: They are owning a big house.

Correct: They own a big house.

Example 3:

Incorrect: He is understanding the instructions.

Correct: He understands the instructions.

Example 4:

Incorrect: We are hating waiting.

Correct: We hate waiting.

See also...

  • 9.1 Present Simple
  • 9.2 Present Perfect
  • 9.3 Present Continuous
  • Present Perfect Continuous
  • Future Simple
  • Future Perfect
  • Future Continuous
  • Future Perfect Continuous
  • Past Simple
  • Past Perfect
  • Past Continuous
  • Past Perfect Continuous