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Present Perfect and Present Perfect Continuous

 
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    Actions/Activities that started in the past and continuing up to now

     

    Both the present perfect simple and present perfect continuous can be used to describe action or activities that started in the past and continued into the present.

     

    Subject + have/has + past participle

     

    • I have studied English for 6 years

     

    Subject + have/has + been + -ing form of the verb

     

    • I have been studying English for 6 years

     

     

    Describing duration

    By using the present perfect continuous we give more information about the length of the activity or action:

     

    Sentence

    Explanation

    He has been playing the piano for many years

    Unfortunately, he still is not very good at doing this OR You can see how good this person is because of the amount of practice they have had.

     

     

     

    Present perfect simple and present perfect continuous: Actions or activities that have very recently finished or are still happening 

     

    The present perfect continuous can give very different information about actions and activities in comparison to the present perfect simple.

     

    Sentence

    Explanation

    I've made the cake

    The cake is finished!

     

    I've been making the cake

    Here we are describing the unfinished process of making a cake, the cake is going to be finished in the future.

     

    In a similar the present perfect continuous describes actions that have just finished in contrast to the present perfect simple which describes activities finishing at an unspecified time in the past

     

    Sentence

    Explanation

    I have been swimming today

    The speaker may still be wet or at least standing outside a swimming pool

     

    I have swum today

    This person could be wet still or standing outside a swimming pool but it is more likely that this person swam some time ago

     

    Warning!

     

    You cannot use the present perfect continuous with state verbs like love, hate, know, enjoy and so on. Instead you must use the present perfect simple.

     

    NOT

     

    I've been knowing him

     

    BUT

     

    I've known him for 7 years

     

     

    Present perfect simple and present perfect continuous: Question forms

     

    We often use for, since and How long have you…? when asking questions with the present perfect continuous and present perfect simple

     

    •       How long have you been driving this car for?
    •       How long have you lived here?
    •       Have you been here for 3 hours?
    •       Where have you been waiting?
    •       Have you visited the museum since they change it?

     

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