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How to Use the Present Perfect Continuous

Video Overview

The Present Perfect Continuous is one of the most complex tenses in English and one where most learners make mistakes. It is used to talk about actions that began in the past and are continuing in the present, or actions that began in the past that interest us because of something happening now.

Video Analysis

The present perfect continuous is one of the most complex tenses in English and the one where the majority of learners make mistakes. Is used to talk about actions that started in the past that continue into the present or actions that began in the past that we are interested in because of something happening now.

The present perfect continuous is made of a subject the present of the verb to be (have been or has been) and the present participle of the main verb + ing.

subject + have been/has been + base verb + ing

She has been running.

He has been studying.

I have been working.

Present perfect continuous is used to talk about actions that have been completed over time (beginning at a time in the past) which have immediate relevance or effect.  These can be actions that are ongoing, even though you might not be doing them right now, or they can be actions still in progress at the time of speaking.

I have been cooking all day (and dinner is on the table). - I'm not cooking now

I have been dancing all my life (and that's why my performance was so good). I'm not dancing right now

He has been exercising a lot (and now he looks good). -He is not exercising right now.

It is also used for actions that began in the past that continue in the present

I have been writing all day (and I'm still not finished). - I am still writing.

I have been growing oranges to make orange juice. - I am still growing the oranges.

You can watch our video which explains more about when to use the present perfect continuous.  Are right up and mind map also has more information and examples.


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