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Present Perfect Continuous

FORM

[has/have + been + present participle]

Positive Negative Question
  • I have been sleeping.
  • You have been sleeping.
  • We have been sleeping.
  • They have been sleeping.
  • He has been sleeping.
  • She has been sleeping.
  • It has been sleeping.
  • I have not been sleeping.
  • You have not been sleeping.
  • We have not been sleeping.
  • They have not been sleeping.
  • He has not been sleeping.
  • She has not been sleeping.
  • It has not been sleeping.
  • Have I been sleeping?
  • Have you been sleeping?
  • Have we been sleeping?
  • Have they been sleeping?
  • Has he been sleeping?
  • Has she been sleeping?
  • Has it been sleeping

USE 1 Duration from the Past Until Now

We use the Present Perfect Continuous to show that something started in the past and has continued up until now. "For five minutes," "for two weeks," and "since Tuesday" are all durations which can be used with the Present Perfect Continuous.

Examples:

  • They have been talking for the last hour.
  • She has been working at that company for three years.
  • What have you been doing for the last 30 minutes?
  • James has been teaching at the university since June.
  • We have been waiting here for over two hours!
  • Why has Nancy not been taking her medicine for the last three days?

USE 2 Recently, Lately

You can also use the Present Perfect Continuous WITHOUT a duration such as "for two weeks." Without the duration, the tense has a more general meaning of "lately." We often use the words "lately" or "recently" to emphasize this meaning.

Examples:

  • Recently, I have been feeling really tired.
  • She has been watching too much television lately.
  • Have you been exercising lately?
  • Mary has been feeling a little depressed.
  • Lisa has not been practicing her English.
  • What have you been doing?

IMPORTANT

Remember that the Present Perfect Continuous has the meaning of "lately" or "recently." If you use the Present Perfect Continuous in a question such as "Have you been feeling alright?", it can suggest that the person looks sick or unhealthy. Using this tense in a question suggests you can see, smell, hear or feel the results of the action. It is possible to insult someone by using this tense incorrectly.

REMEMBER Non-Continuous Verbs/ Mixed Verbs

It is important to remember that Non-Continuous Verbs cannot be used in any continuous tenses. Also, certain non-continuous meanings for Mixed Verbs cannot be used in continuous tenses. Instead of using Present Perfect Continuous with these verbs, you must use Present Perfect.

Examples:

  • Sam has been having his car for two years. Not Correct
  • Sam has had his car for two years. Correct

ADVERB PLACEMENT

The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc.

Examples:

  • You have only been waiting here for one hour.
  • Have you only been waiting here for one hour?

EXERCISES

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