Present Perfect Continuous Tense: Useful Rules & Examples 1

Present Perfect Continuous Tense: Useful Rules & Examples

Present Perfect Continuous! Learn how and when to use the Present Perfect Continuous tense (also known as the Present Perfect Progressive tense) in English with useful grammar rules and example sentences.

Present Perfect Continuous Tense

The Present Perfect Continuous shows that something started in the past and is continuing at the present time.

The structure of the Present Perfect Progressive tense is:

have/has + been + V-ing (present participle)
Examples:
They have been learning English.
I have been waiting for one hour.

Present Perfect Progressive Contractions:

The subject and the first auxiliary are often contracted when using the Present Perfect Continuous tense in speaking and in informal writing.

Have = ‘ve

Has = ‘s

Examples:

I‘ve been writing.
The car‘s been giving trouble.

How to Use the Present Perfect Progressive Tense?

The Present Perfect Progressive tense is used to:

  • Express long actions that started in the past and continue until now

Examples:

I‘ve been living in Ireland for almost 4 years.

I‘ve been studying all day and I’m absolutely exhausted now.

  • Express recent actions that have clear evidence or results now

Examples:

You’ve lost a lot of weight. Have you been going to the gym?

Her eyes are red because she‘s been crying all evening.

  • Typically used for shorter, more temporary situations

Example:

Have they been learning English this week?

  • Note:

Always use the present perfect simple (not continuous) with the verbs believe, know, understand, like/dislike, belong, own:

Examples:

We‘ve known each other since we were kids.

I‘ve never understood math very well.

He‘s always liked sports.

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