When we use Present Perfect Continuous

Present Perfect Continuous
It’s a similiar tense to present perfect simple. We use it when AN ACTION STARTED IN THE PAST AND IS STILL CONTINUING. We often say for how long (duration), for example: for 5 minutes, for 2 years, since last Monday.

An example of present perfect continuous used when AN ACTION IS STILL CONTINUING AND WE SAY THE DURATION.

Present perfect continuous used to describe 3 men who have been drinking for a long time.

They started drinking 3 hours ago and they are still drinking now.

How we form present perfect continuous

positive sentences: subject + have/has + been + verb-ing + object.

negative sentences: subject + have/has + not + been + verb-ing + object.

questions: Have/has + subject + been + verb-ing + object.

Other examples of present perfect continuous use in a sentence

  • I have been driving for 7 hours and I’m tired.
  • She has been working here for 2 weeks.
  • We’ve been discussing it for the past 2 months and I’m tired of it.

More about present perfect continuous

Present perfect continuous is used to EMPHASIZE the duration of an action. “I have been waiting for you for an hour”. The person is angry and wants to emphasize that an hour is a long time.

Present perfect continuous is used more for short time actions and/or temporary (that are not what you usually do and are likely to change in the future). Present perfect simple is used more for long-term actions/ actions which are permanent and probably will not change in the near future. If you usually work in the office but your boss has decided that only this week, month or year you are doing physical work in a warehouse, you will say: “I have been doing physical work for a week/month/year” (it’s something temporary and will probably change).

Present perfect continuous can be used when you talk about an action which has produced a bad effect in the present. You have accidently cut your finger while cutting vegetables. “I have been cutting vegetables and now I have a bleeding finger”.