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How to Use Present Perfect Continuous Verb Tense for English

Updated: Jan 10

Present Perfect Continuous Tense (English language)

Explanation


The present perfect continuous tense represents something that started in the past and is continuing at the present time. To put it simply, the present perfect continuous is used to indicate an unspecified time between 'before now' and 'now'. This tense is formed using the below construction-

Has /have been + the present participle (root + -ing)

  • E.g.: I have been reading Sherlock Homes currently

  • E.g.: He has been running the marathon now

All grammar rules for forming the present perfect continuous tense


a) In Present Perfect Continuous Tense, we use the helping verb 'has been/have been'

e.g.: She has been watching a movie

b) To make the present perfect continuous tense, we add 'Ing' with the first form of Verb.

E.g.: We have been play (ing) football

c) During the making of the present perfect continuous tense, we use 'Since or for' for a time.

  • Word “Since’ is used when the time mentioned in the sentence is certain

E.g.: Joe has been running the race since 2’o clock

  • Word ‘For’ is used when the time mentioned in the sentence is not certain.

e.g.: They have been singing at the concert for many hours

d) For the verbs not normally used in the continuous form, we use the simple present perfect instead

(Examples of such verbs: know, hate, hear, understand, want)

e.g.:

  • I've wanted to visit Disneyland for years.

  • They've hated that music since they first heard it.

  • We've understood everything.



Sentence patterns for the present perfect Continuous tense


Subject + has / have been + base +ing

Affirmative sentence


Subject + has / have been + base +ing

  • e.g.: She has been swimming

Negative sentence


Subject + has / have been +not base +ing

  • e.g.: She hasn't not been swimming

Interrogative sentence


Has/ Have + Subject + base+ ing

  • e.g.: Has she been swimming?


All situations the present perfect continuous tense is used in

a) This tense is used to talk about the past action that stopped recently

  • e.g.: I'm so tired because I've been running.

b) This tense is used to talk about an action that started in the past and is continuing now.

e.g.:

  • They've been studying since 2 o'clock

  • Joe has not been smoking

c) This tense is used with for and since with perfect tenses

E.g.:

  • Joe has been living in England since he left India

  • I have been playing cricket since 7 am.












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