[Tense] – Lesson 4: Present Perfect Progressive

Introduction

Like all Present Perfects, the Present Perfect Continuous links an action in the past with the present time. In English, there are two main uses of the Present Perfect Continuous (also called Present Perfect Progressive).

Form of Present Perfect Continuous

Positive Negative Question
I / you / we / they I have been speaking. I have not been speaking. Have I been speaking?
he / she / it He has been speaking. He has not been speaking. Has he been speaking?

Exceptions in Spelling

Exceptions in spelling when adding ing Example
final e is dropped
(but: ee is not changed)
come – coming
(but: agree – agreeing)
after a short, stressed vowel, the final consonant is doubled sit – sitting
l as final consonant after a vowel is doubled (in British English) travel – travelling
final ie becomes y lie – lying

Use of Present Perfect Continuous

  • puts emphasis on the duration or course of an action (not the result)Example: She has been writing for two hours.
  • action that recently stopped or is still going onExample: I have been living here since 2001.
  • finished action that influenced the presentExample: I have been working all afternoon.

Signal Words of Present Perfect Continuous

  • all day, for 4 years, since 1993, how long?, the whole week
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