Present Perfect Continuous Tense is a tense which is used to indicate an action that began in the past and has lasted or continued until the present moment. It uses the auxiliary verb i.e. has been or have been + present participle. Some examples of present perfect continuous tense are – I have been waiting here for three hours, He has been singing in the band for two years, Nancy has been teaching at the school since January. Thus, you use the present perfect continuous tense while describing any past event or condition which is continuing in the present moment.
Definition of Present Perfect Continuous Tense
Present perfect continuous tense is a tense which is used to indicate the actions that began in the past but have continued or lasted till the present moment. It lays emphasis on the duration or the amount of time for which an action has been taking place. As the name suggests, the present perfect continuous tense describes an event or action that is continuing up to the present moment. It is also known as the present perfect progressive tense.
This tense uses has or have been + present participle. In the forming of the present perfect continuous tense, we use ‘has been’ when the subject is Singular and ‘have been’ when the subject is Plural. The second element that is the present participle is formed by adding -ing to the root of the verb.
For example, reaching, missing, mixing, wiping, etc. However, all verbs are not compatible with continuous action such as to be, to own, etc. While framing the questions using the present perfect continuous tense, we indicate them by inverting the subject and has or have. For making negative sentences we use not.
Using Present Perfect Continuous Tense sentences to describe:
Following are the situations where we use Present Perfect Continuous Tense along with sentences:
- Duration of the action from the Past until present
Sentence: He has been playing football at the club for two years.
It means that he started playing football for the club two years before and is still playing it.
- Events occurring recently or lately
Sentence: I have been falling ill more often, lately
It means that nowadays you are falling ill more.
- Using ‘Since’ and ‘For’
Sentence: He has been living in Mumbai since 2008.
It means that we know a definite time from when he is living in Mumbai i.e. 2008.
Sentence: She has been waiting for the cab for one hour.
It means that we know the amount of time for which she waited for the cab i.e. one hour.
Examples of Past Perfect Tense
Duration of the action from the Past until present
The following examples express the actions that began in the past and are continuing in the present moment.
- What have you been reading for the past one hour?
- She has been watching Television for the last four hours.
- Jack has not been taking proper medication for the last three days.
- They have been discussing the project for the last 30 minutes.
Events occurring recently or lately
The following examples express the use of present perfect continuous tense, without any duration. When we do not use duration, in order to emphasize the meaning, we use ‘recently’ or ‘lately’.
- What have you been working on lately?
- Recently, she has been falling ill too often.
- Have you been eating healthy lately?
- Recently, John has been reading good books.
Using ‘Since’ and ‘For’
The following examples express the time of action using the present perfect continuous tense. When we know the exact starting time of action and also intend to reflect it in the sentence, we use the word ‘Since’. However, when we intend to indicate the amount of time for which the action lasted or continued, we make the use of the word ‘For’.
- They have been walking in the garden since an hour.
- She has been acting since 2015.
- He has been studying finance for three years.
- They have been working in this shop for ten years.
Some important points:
- In any continuous tenses, we cannot use non-continuous verbs. Similarly, we cannot use mixed verbs that have a certain non-continuous meaning. Thus, while using such verbs, you need to use the present perfect tense.
- Mike has had his Mercedes car for three years.
- Sharon needs help now.
- Sam seems confused.
- He is experiencing fun now.
- Usually, adverbs such as always, never, still, ever, just, only, etc. are used.
- Have you only been reading here for two hours?
- You have only been working here for one hour.
- While writing a negative sentence, we write Subject + has not been or have not been + present participle.
- He has not been dealing with securities since 2018.
- Kunal has not been eating fast food for two months.
- They have not been working for six months.
- She has not been cooking for one year.
- While writing an interrogative sentence, we write has or have + Subject + been + present participle.
- Have you been going to the guitar classes since 2018?
- Has Jones been working as an HR head for two years?
- Have they been watching TV for two hours?
Questions on Present Perfect Continuous Tense
Fill in the blanks by choosing the correct word according to the rules of the present perfect continuous tense:
Question.1. The author ______ writing this book since 2017.
- Have been
- Has been
Answer. Option 2 – Has been
Question.2. Hari has been _____ to China ______ two years now.
- Traveling, for
- Traveling, since
- Traveled, for
- Traveled, since
Answer. Option 1 – Traveling, For
Question. 3. They ____ listening to the songs for an hour.
- Had been
- Have been
- Will be
Answer. Option 2 – have been
Question.4. I ____ writing articles for five years now.
- Have been
- Has been
Answer. Option 3 – have been