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

FORI have been doing exercise for 2 hours.

SINCEAGOI have been listening to this band since 5 years ago.

ONLY = I have only been studying for 3 hours.

ALREADYI have been preparing for the exam for 6 weeks already.

 

Practice questions:

  1. How long have you been learning English?
  2. How long have you been doing your favourite hobby?
  3. How long have you been working in the same job?
  4. How long have you been living in the same house?
  5. How long have you been surfing the internet today?

 

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