This tense is confusing to many English grammar learners, as they don’t know what and when to use it. The present perfect continuous is used to refer to an unspecified time, if the speaker is interested in the process and the results of an action regardless of when exactly it happened. This action may still be happening or finished.

When to use the present perfect continuous.

1 – Unfinished actions:

We use this tense if we want to express an unfinished action that started in the past and still happening in the present.

  • I have been driving this bus for three years.
  • She has been teaching in this school since 2012.
  • We have been waiting for him for hours.

2- Temporary situations or habits:

It’s basically the same as the previous one (unfinished actions), but less clearly about how long, and we usually use the word “recently”.

  • I have been going to the garden a lot recently.
  • I have been running a lot recently.
  • I have been running a lot recently.

3 – Finished actions:

We can use this tense in actions which have recently stopped and are showed results in the present.

  • I’m so tired, since I have been working.
  • I have been fasting, so I’m really hangry.
  • It’s been snowing so the house is cold.

How to use the present perfect continuous.

The present perfect continuous is easy to make, It is consists of two parts:

  • The present perfect of the verb to be (have/ have been)
  • The present participle of the main verb (base + ing)
Subject+has/have been+base+ing
Shehas beenreading

Making the positive and negative forms of the present perfect continuous:

PositiveNegative
I have been readingI have not been reading
You have been walkingYou have not been walking
He has been workingHe has not been working
She has been speakingShe has not been speaking
It has been eatingIt has not been eating
We have been studyingWe have not been studying
They have been sleepingThey have not been sleeping

Making yes/no questions and wh- questions forms of the present perfect continuous:

’Yes / No’ Questions’wh’ questions
Have I been reading?What have I been doing?
Have you been walking?Where have you been running?
Has he been working?What has he been studying?
Has she been speaking ?Why has she been working today?
Has it been eating ?How long has it been raining?
Have we been studying?How long have we been watching this film?
Have they been sleeping?How long have they been living here?
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