Present Perfect Continuous

We use the Present Perfect Continuous to talk about actions happening and continuing into the present, and recently completed actions. If you would like to learn more about this tense, you’ve come to the right place. Feel free to look around, learn, and practice.

present perfect continuous

We use the Present Perfect Continuous to talk about:

- ACTIONS HAPPENING AND CONTINUING INTO THE PRESENT

Ellen and Thomas have been seeing each other.

Phil hasn’t been jogging for a while. He’s really out of shape.

Has it been raining?

Has the dog been barking all night?

- RECENTLY COMPLETED ACTIONS WITH RESULT IN THE PRESENT

A: Why are you out of breath and all sweaty?

B: I’ve been running

* NOTE: We can use Present Perfect Continuous (Jane has been reading) to focus more on the action and we can use Present Perfect Simple (Jane has read) to focus more on the result.Compare the following:

Jane has read her new book.

Jane has been reading her new book.

* NOTE: Present Prefect Continuous (Jane has been reading) and Past Continuous (Jane was reading) have different meanings.Compare the following:

Jane has been reading her new book. (we don’t know if Jane has finished or not)

Jane was reading her new book. (Jane read the book for a period of time and now is doing something else)

Affirmative
I/you/we/they

he/she/it

have been/’ve been

has been/’s been

reading/living/doing etc .
Negative
I/you/we/they

 

he/she/it

have not been/ haven’t been/’ve not been

has not been/hasn’t been/’s not been

reading/living/doing etc .
Questions
Have

Has

I/you/we/they

he/she/it

been reading/living/doing etc ?

* NOTE: Negative questions are also possible. We generally use them to show surprise,
disbelief, or shock.

Hasn’t Walter been looking after his health?

* NOTE: We often use for and since with perfect tenses to specify the duration of the time.

For Present Perfect Simple exercises go to: