The present perfect continuous is used to talk about an ACTION that started in the past and continues now. For Example, if you work in a company and you started there 3 years ago, you would use “I have been working in this company for 3 years”. It is the present perfect continuous and not the present perfect simple because “I have worked in this company for 3 years”, would imply that the job had finished.
We insist that the present perfect continuous is ONLY FOR ACTIONS, study the example; “I have had my car for 5 years” and not
“I have been having my car for 5 years”.
The present perfect continuous is formed like this:
+ SUBJECT HAVE BEEN GERUND
I have been working since 8 o´clock this morning.
I have been training for a long time.
You have been playing video games for a long time.
– SUBJECT HAVE NOT BEEN GERUND
I haven´t been doing yoga for very long.
I have not been working as much as I would have liked.
You have not been reading all this time, have you?
? HAVE SUBJECT BEEN GERUND?
Have you been watching TV all this time?
Have you really been studying since I left the house this morning?
Have you been reading a lot recently?
Have you been learning English for a long time?
Another important aspect of the present perfect continuous is the adverbs we can use: for more information see our post on the present perfect simple
FOR = I have been doing exercise for 2 hours.
SINCE… AGO = I have been listening to this band since 5 years ago.
ONLY = I have only been studying for 3 hours.
ALREADY = I have been preparing for the exam for 6 weeks already.
- How long have you been learning English?
- How long have you been doing your favourite hobby?
- How long have you been working in the same job?
- How long have you been living in the same house?
- How long have you been surfing the internet today?