In this chapter the present perfect continuous will be explained. This tense is used for actions that have started in the past, but continue in the present.
To form the present perfect continuous the auxiliary verb 'to have' is used, followed by the participle of the verb 'to be' plus the present participle of the main verb.
How the present perfect continuous is formed, depends on whether the sentence is:
Structure: subject / pronoun + form of the verb 'to have' + 'been' + present participle of the main verb + rest of the sentence
The table below shows the conjugation of the auxiliary verb 'to have' in combination with the participle of the verb 'to be'.
|Subject||Conjugation of 'to have' + 'been'|
|He / she / it||has been|
Structure: subject / pronoun + negative form of the verb 'to have' (have not/ has not) + 'been' + present participle of the main verb + rest of the sentence
The table below shows the conjugation of the verb 'to have' in combination with the participle of the verb 'to be' in the negative form.
|Subject||Conjugation of 'to have'+ negation + 'been'|
|I||have not been|
|You||have not been|
|He / she / it||has not been|
|We||have not been|
|You||have not been|
|They||have not been|
Structure: form of the verb 'to have' + subject / pronoun + 'been' + present participle of the main verb + rest of the sentence + question mark
|I||Have I been ... ?|
|You||Have you been ... ?|
|He / she / it||Has he / she / it been ... ?|
|We||Have we been ... ?|
|You||Have you been ... ?|
|They||Have they been ... ?|
The present perfect continuous is used to refer to an event or action that happened in the past and is still going on in the present or recently stopped. The table below shows the different situations in which the present perfect continuous is used.
|You want to express the idea of an activity in progress until recently or until the time of speaking.||
|You want to talk about an event or action that started in the past, but is still going on.||
The present perfect continuous refers to a non-specific time period, so it is usually accompanied by the following signal words:
Test your knowledge of the present perfect continuous with the exercises below!
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