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Present Perfect Continuous

When do we use the Present Perfect Continuous?

The Present Perfect Continuous is a combination of past and present where actions begun in the past have some connection to the present in that they are continuing or there is a result in the present. 

1. actions beginning in the past and still continuing – often used with since (point of time) or for (period of time)

have been waiting for you all morning. (I am still waiting.)

have been studying since 9 a.m. (I am still studying.)

2. recently completed actions but with a result in the present – often used with just.

You look hot. Yes I have just been running(Running has finished but there is a present result – he looks hot.)

Sorry about the mess I have been painting the room. ( Painting has finished but the mess is a present result.)

3. Signal words

  • all day
  • for
  • just
  • since
  • the whole day/morning/week etc.,
  • Questions with How long….?

4. Form

have/has + been + infinitive + ing

5. Examples

5.1. Affirmative sentences in the Present Perfect Continuous

Long forms Contracted forms
have been learning English. Ive been learning English.
You have been learning English. Youve been learning English.
He has been learning English. Hes been learning English.

5.2. Negative sentences in the Present Perfect Continuous

Long forms Contracted forms
have not been learning English. Ive not been learning English.
haven’t been learning English.
You have not been learning English. Youve not been learning English.
You haven’t been learning English.
He has not been learning English. Hes not been learning English.
He hasn’t been learning English.

5.3. Questions in the Present Perfect Continuous

Long forms Contracted forms
Have I been learning English? not possible
Have you been learning English?
Has he been learning English?