Present perfect continuous tense overview

The present perfect continuous tense is used to talk about actions and situations that started in the past and have continued up to the present.

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

  • I have been gardening since morning.
  • It has been raining since yesterday.
  • We have been living in this city for 25 years.
  • The boys have been playing since morning.
  • She has been knitting for hours.
  • The child has been sleeping since morning.

Difference between present perfect and present perfect continuous tenses

Both present perfect and present perfect continuous tenses can be used to talk about actions and events that started in the past and have  continued up to the present.

  • We have lived in this town for ten years.
  • We have been living in this town for ten years.
  • I have worked with them for ten years.
  • I have been working with them for ten years.

The present perfect tense can be used to talk about finished events. The present perfect continuous tense cannot be used to talk about finished events.

Compare:

  • I have watered the plants. (I have finished that job. I am free now.)
  • I have done my homework. (I am free now.)
  • I have been watering the plants. (= I am still watering the plants.)
  • I have been doing my homework for two hours.
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