Download PDF

do and dynamic verbs in the Present Perfect Continuous

How to use special verbs in the Present Perfect Continuous

We do not normally use verbs which express a state with this tense. We prefer verbs which describe a process.

A verb which expresses an action (dynamic verb) can form both Present Perfect Simple and Present Perfect Continuous:

1. Present Perfect Simple

have painted the house. (The focus is on the result. – the house is painted.)

2. Present Perfect Continuous

have been painting the house all afternoon. (The focus is on the duration of the action.)

A verb which expresses a state can only be used in the Present Perfect Simple:

have known her for a long time.

Have a look at verbs which are not used in continuous forms (state verbs).

3. do as a main verb

PronounsAffirmative sentencesNegative sentencesQuestions
Ihave been doing the cleaning.have not been doing the cleaning.Have been doing the cleaning?
youYou have been doing the cleaning.You have not been doing the cleaning.Have you been doing the cleaning?
he, she, itHe has been doing the cleaning.He has not been doing the cleaning.Has he been doing the cleaning?
we, you, theyThey have been doing the cleaning.They have not been doing the cleaning.Have they been doing the cleaning?

► We can substitute haven’t been doing (hasn’t been doing) for have not been doing (has not been doing).