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Lesson 1.2

Present Perfect Continuous

El presente perfecto continuo
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The present perfect continuous is used for actions or events that began in the past and continue into the present.

Grammatical Rules

Form

As with the present perfect simple, we use the auxiliary verb “to have” as well as “been” (the past participle of the verb “to be”) and the verb+ing.

Subject Auxiliary Verb+ing
I, you, we, they have been talking, studying, waiting…
he, she, it has been talking, studying, waiting…

Structure

1. Affirmative Sentences

Subject + auxiliary verb (to have) + “been” + verb+ing…

Examples:

 They have [They’ve] been talking for three hours.
 She has [She’s] been studying English since she was 16.
 I have [I’ve] been waiting for you for over an hour!

2. Negative Sentences

Subject auxiliary verb (to have) + “not” + “been” + verbing…

Examples:

 They haven’t been talking for more than a few minutes.
 She hasn’t been studying English for very long.
 Don’t worry, I haven’t been waiting long.

3. Interrogative Sentences

Auxiliary verb (to have) + subject + “been” + verb+ing…?

Examples:

 Have they been talking for a long time?
 Have you been waiting long?

Use

We use the present perfect continuous when we want to express the sense of continuity of an action that began in the past and which continues into the present or which has just finished.

We use it to refer to something that we have been doing over a period of time and therefore we use the prepositions of timefor” and “since”.

If we use the present perfect continuous without a time reference, it means “lately” or “recently”.

Examples:

 I can’t believe it is still raining. It’s been raining for a week now!
 John has been working at the bank since 2003.
 We’ve been planning our vacation for over a month.
 Amanda and Tom have been dating since last June.
 He hasn’t been studying enough.
 Have you been feeling ok lately?
 I’ve been working too much.

Note: As we have learned, we cannot use the continuous tenses with some verbs (see a list of verbs and an explanation here). In these cases, we use the present perfect simple.

Note: As we have learned, we cannot use the continuous tenses with some verbs (see a list of verbs and an explanation here). In these cases, we use the present perfect simple.

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