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Present Perfect Continuous Tense: Definition, Formula & Examples

Learning English with The AN and freSy

The verb form known as the present perfect continuous, which is also known as the present perfect progressive, is used to characterize an activity that began at some point in the past and either just recently concluded or is still going on at present. Even though only about 7% of verbs in spoken language are in the past perfect tense, this verb tense may prove highly helpful in a variety of contexts.

Keep reading to acquire knowledge on how to construct the present perfect continuous and then when it should be used, along with a plethora of instances and specifics!

Table of Content
  • What is the Present Perfect Continuous Tense?
  • Present Perfect Continuous Tense Definition
  • Structure of the Present Perfect Continuous Tense
  • Present Perfect Continuous Tense Formula
  • Rules for Present Perfect Continuous Tense
  • Purpose of Present Perfect Continuous Tense
  • Examples of Present Perfect Continuous Tense
  • Present Perfect Continuous Tense Exercise

What is the Present Perfect Continuous Tense?

The Present Perfect Continuous Tense is a tense used to describe an activity that started in the past and has persisted or continued until the current instant. It is also known as the “continuous” form of the Present Perfect Tense. The auxiliary word “has been” or “have been” plus the present participle is used in this construction.

  • Lately, I’ve been winding down in a nearby park after a long day.
  • To improve his productivity, he has been arranging his worksheet daily.
  • To get ready for the nuptials, we’ve been taking dance classes.
  • The group has been engaged in cleaning up the neighborhood.
  • To update the screenplay, Susan has been hard at work.

Present Perfect Continuous Tense Definition

The “present perfect continuous tense” is a tense that is used to “talk about an action or activity that started in the past and continues now or has only just stopped,” according to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary.

Structure of the Present Perfect Continuous Tense

An analysis of the three different types of the Present Perfect Continuous Tense, which are the affirmative or positive, the negative, and the interrogative sentence, can provide a foundational understanding of the construction of this tense. Have a glance at the framework outlined in the chart that is following.

Present Perfect Continuous Tense Structure
Type Formula Examples
Present Perfect Continuous Tense Subject + have/has + been + present participle (verb + ing) + the rest of the sentence I have been working on this project for a week.

Present Perfect Continuous Tense Formula

The present perfect continuous tense can be formed by following the formula given below.

Subject + have/has + been + present participle (verb+ing) + the rest of the sentence

Rules for Present Perfect Continuous Tense

When we want to speak about how long an activity has been going on from the time it first started until the present, we use a tense called the present perfect continuous. The prepositions “for” and “since” are used quite frequently because they provide information about the duration of the action.

It is possible to speak about activities that began very recently in the past by using the tense known as the present perfect continuous.

We are not allowed to use non-continuous verbs with various continuous tenses. In a similar vein, we are not allowed to use blended verbs that have a particular meaning that is not continuous. When using these types of expressions, you must, as a result, speak in the present perfect tense.

Purpose of Present Perfect Continuous Tense

The present participle and an inactive version of the word have been combined to create this verb tense (the verb form ending in -ing). These verbs could also accept auxiliary modifications to speak about when in the past the activity occurred (for example, “two hours ago,” “last Fall,” etc.). Examples include “two hours ago” and “last Fall.” In addition, present perfect continuous verb forms are going to be discovered in the open using dynamic verbs most frequently, and these verbs will be describing:

  • an activity
  • a process
  • a bodily sensation
  • a transitional event
  • a momentary occurrence

The other type of verb, defined as a stative verb, is not typically seen with present perfect continuous verb forms. The reason why it is not used here is that stative verbs characterize activities that are finished and finished with or that do not carry on into the future at all (e.g. astonish, see, smell).

Examples of Present Perfect Continuous Tense

  • Since midday, the young man has been waiting by the entrance.
  • For the past four hours, she has been watching TV.
  • The young lady has been hanging around since the morning, anticipating the arrival of her pal.
  • It has been three hours since I began learning.
  • He’s been a football player for quite some time.
  • It has been less than an hour since the doctor began seeing the patient.
  • He has been living in Japan for the last 3 years.
  • I have not been taking my medicine since last week.
  • They have been playing football for an hour.

Present Perfect Continuous Tense Exercise

  1. She __________ for 3 hours. (run)
  2. He __________ guitar since evening. (play)
  3. The moon __________ in the clear sky since night. (shine)
  4. I ___________ Looney Toons for many days. (read)
  5. She _________ a very typical topic. (Discuss)
  6. Tom __________ for two hours. (walk)
  7. They __________ in this area of the city for many years. (live)
  8. Tamara __________ as Assistant Manager in this company. (work)
  9. You _________ to Europe since 2015. (travel)
  10. The farmer __________ seeds and crops since last two months. (sow)
Answers
  1. has been running
  2. has been playing
  3. has been shining
  4. have been reading
  5. has been discussing
  6. has been walking
  7. have been living
  8. has been working
  9. have been traveling
  10. has been sowing

Present Perfect Continuous Tense- FAQs

The present perfect continuous tense additionally referred to as the present perfect progressive tense, indicates that something began in the past and is ongoing in the present. To create the present perfect continuous tense, use the construction “has been” or “have been” in conjunction with the present participle (root +ing).

The present perfect continuous tense, also known as the present perfect progressive tense, is used to convey the idea that a particular action or state of being started at some point in the past and is still continuing on at the present time. The “present perfect continuous” is created by using the construction of “has been” or “have been” in conjunction with the present participle (root +ing).

The present perfect continuous tense, also known as the present perfect progressive tense, is used to convey the idea that even a particular action or state of being started in the past and is still continuing at the current time. One can achieve the present faultless continuous by making use of the infrastructure "has been" or "has been" combined with the present participle (origin + -ing).

  • For the past hour, I have not been observing a cricket contest.
  • Have you been preparing to work on the project for the last 2 hours?
  • It’s been an hour since I started assisting him with the job.
  • It’s been three hours since my mum started cooking.
  • It has been an hour since I started viewing the performance.
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