Present Perfect Continuous Tense | Rules and Examples

Learn how to use the Present Perfect Continuous tense (also known as the Present Perfect Progressive tense) in English with examples.

Forming the Present Perfect Continuous

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

The structure of the Present Perfect Continuous tense is:

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


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


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

How to Use the Present Perfect Continuous Tense?

The Present Perfect Continuous tense is used to:

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


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


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


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:


We‘ve known each other since we were kids.

I‘ve never understood math very well.

He‘s always liked sports.

Present Perfect Continuous Tense | Picture

Present Perfect Continuous Tense

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