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Advanced Level: Present Perfect Continuous

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The Present Perfect Continuous is formed with – has/have + been+ present participle

You have been waiting long.
Have you been waiting long?
You have not been waiting long.

1 Duration from the past until now

We use the Present Perfect Continuous to show that something started in the past and has continued up until the present. Phrases that show duration like ‘for fifteen minutes’, ‘for two weeks’, ‘for now’, ‘since last Sunday’, etc. can all be used with the Present Perfect Continuous:

They have been discussing the problem for more than an hour.
I have been working here for ten years.
She has been doing yoga since the beginning of the year.
How long have you been waiting?

2 with recently, lately

The Present Perfect Continuous can be used without a duration. In this case the meaning is more general and we use ‘lately’ or ‘recently’ to show this.

I have been feeling really tired lately.
What have you been doing?

Position of adverbs

Adverbs such as; always, only, never, ever, still, just etc. are placed after the auxiliary HAVE and before BEEN with the Present Perfect Continuous

I have only been waiting for a few minutes.

Lesson by Tristan, teacher at EC Malta English school

Now complete the following using the correct form:

  • 1. It _ all week.



  • 2. Peter is in the library. He _ for his finals.



  • 3. John’s under a lot of pressure. He _ for his exams all month.



  • 4. Sarah looks great. _ to the gym lately?



  • 5. My car is at the mechanic’s again. It _ me so much trouble recently.



  • 6 I came to say goodbye to Danny and now you tell me that he _ two days ago.



  • 7. Dave, where have you been? We _ for you for over an hour.



  • 8. I _ a course in fashion design right now. I’m planning to make it my career.