Present perfect continuous tense

Present Perfect Continuous Tense: Definition, Formula, And Free Worksheet

In this article, we will explore how to use the present perfect continuous tense and examine some examples of its use. 

First, let’s take a look at its definition.

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What Is Present Perfect Continuous Tense?

Present perfect continuous tense is used to express an action that started in the past and continues up to the present moment. It can be used with expressions like “for hours” or “since this morning/year.” 

It’s also known as “present perfect progressive tense or present perfect progressive.” 

Read on: When to Use Since and For With Examples

Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Present Perfect Continuous Tense Formula

Positive FormNegative FormInterrogative Form
Subject + have/has + been + verb-ingSubject + have/has not + been + verb-ingHave/has + subject + been + verb-ing?
We have been eating fried chicken lately.We have not been eating fried chicken lately.Have we been eating fried chicken lately?
The cat has been sleeping on my head. The cat has not been sleeping on my head. Has the cat been sleeping on my head?

What Are 5 Examples Of Present Perfect Continuous Tense?

  1. I have been studying English for three years.
  2. We have been running since this morning.
  3. She has been waiting for you for 30 minutes.
  4. He has been working on this report for two hours.
  5. I have been staying in London for two months.

When To Use Present Perfect Continuous

When To Use Present Perfect ContinuousExamples Of Present Perfect Continuous Tense 
To talk about an action that began in the past and continues into the presentI have been working here for ten years.
To express an action that has been happening recently or lately.I’ve been having problems with my computer lately.
To emphasize the effect that action causesShe has been running since 4:30. Now he’s tired and sweaty.

Present Perfect Continuous Tense Sentences

Positive Sentences

1. I have been studying English for six years.

2. She has been living in London since 2010.

3. We have been watching TV since 2 o’clock.

4. They have been watching TV all day.

Negative Sentences

5. I have not been sleeping well.

6. You haven’t been eating enough fruit lately.

7. We haven’t been studying hard enough for exams recently.

8. I haven’t been teaching English for long.

Interrogative Sentences

9. How long have you been waiting?

10. Has she been working on her project?

11. How long have you been working as a doctor? 

12. Have you been working here long? 

Present Perfect Continuous Exercises

Download The Present Perfect Continuous Tense Worksheet.

Fill in the blanks with the correct form of the present perfect continuous tense.

For example: 

I _______________ (wait) for you for three hours.

I have been waiting for you for three hours.

1. I _______________ (work) here for fifteen years.

2. The baby ___________________ (cry) all night long, so we are exhausted this morning.

3. We ___________________ (sit) on the beach for the whole afternoon.

4. They ___________________ (work) all day long at the office, so they are exhausted now and want to go home early today!

5. It ___________________ (rain) all day long and now it is very cold outside!

6. They ___________________ (play) video games all afternoon. 

7. She ___________________ (listen) to music for hours.

8. I ___________________ (dance) since I was a child.

9. He ___________________ (keep) this secret from you for a long time.

10. We ___________________ (not/watch) TV since we got our new computer!

Answers: 1. have been working 2. has been crying 3. have been sitting 4. have been working 5. has been raining 6. have been playing 7. has been listening 8. have been dancing 9. has been keeping 10. have not been watching

Download The Present Perfect Continuous Tense Worksheet.

What Is the Difference Between Present Perfect And Present Perfect Continuous?

Present perfect continuous tense expresses an action that began in the past and continues to the present or is still happening. It’s used when a speaker wants to emphasize how long an action has been happening or the effect it causes. It is formed with subject + have/has + been + verb-ing.

On the other hand, present perfect expresses a (completed) action that started in the past and may have effects on the present time or may not have finished. It is formed with subject + have/has + verb (past participle).

Final Thoughts 

If you’ve made it this far, I hope you better understand how the present perfect continuous is used in English. 

Try to make your own sentence using one of our example sentences as inspiration. If you’re feeling adventurous, try coming up with a couple of your own examples too! 

You can also check out our other articles on grammar and vocabulary here at Hi English Hub.

If this has been helpful for you, please share it with friends who might also benefit from it.

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