Sentences in the Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Present Perfect Continuous Tense - Lesson #2

The present perfect continuous is a combination of the present perfect (I have been to China) and the present continuous (I am studying). We use it in two ways.

1. We can use it to tell about some action or event that started in the past but is still happening.

Subject + have/has + been + verb(-ing)…
  • She has been working since yesterday.
  • They have been talking for a long time.
  • I have been writing these grammar lessons for 2 weeks.
  • Nick has been talking to his mother for over an hour.
We can usually use the present perfect tense or the present perfect continuous when we are talking about unfinished actions that will continue in the future.
  • We have been discussing this issue for days.
  • We have discussed this issue for days.

  • I have been playing soccer since I was young.
  • I have played soccer since I was young.
There are two important things to remember. First, we can only use action verbs after "been". Use the present perfect with nouns, adjectives, or prepositional phrases.
  • He has been a doctor for 10 years.
  • She has been on the phone for 1 hour.
  • They have been happy all day.
Second, we usually use "for", "since", or some other time phrase with these sentences.

Let's move on to the other way that we use this verb tense.

2. We can also use the present perfect continuous to talk about recently finished actions if we can still see the results or evidence of the action. Take a look at a few examples.
  • They have been exercising.
    (I can see they are sweating and wearing exercise clothes.)

  • You have been eating chocolate cake.
    (I can see you have chocolate on your face.)

  • It has been raining.
    (I can see the ground is wet.)
The sentence pattern for these sentences is the same, but we do not use "for", "since", or a time phrase when we are using the present perfect continuous in this way.

Let's take a look at how to make a negative sentence.

Subject + have/has + not + been + verb(-ing)…
  • I have not been studying much lately.
  • She has not been talking to me since yesterday.
  • They have not been acting mature lately.
We can also use contractions.
  • I've been working a lot since last month.
  • I haven't been working a lot since last month.
This grammar can be very useful for speaking and writing. So, take the time to study it well.

Example Sentences
  • I have been teaching English for over 10 years.
  • I have been studying since this morning.
  • I've been watching TV for 4 hours in a row.

  • You've been sitting there for a long time.
  • You have not been acting like yourself these days.
  • You have been reading that book all day.

  • We have been dating for 10 years.
  • We've been discussing that issue for a long time.
  • We have been cooking since this morning.

  • He has been living alone since he was 14 years old.
  • Nick has been driving all day.
  • He has not been taking his medicine lately.

  • Mary has been fighting with the boss again. Look at how angry she looks.
  • She has been waiting for you since 2 o'clock.
  • She has been praying for you.

  • It has been raining since yesterday.
  • The store has been selling these for many years.
  • The restaurant has been getting great reviews for months.

  • They have been playing music together since they were teenagers.
  • The dogs have been barking all day.
  • They have not been eating their food lately.
English Conversation 1

A) Where have you been lately? I haven't seen you in a long time.
B) I have been working a lot lately. My boss gave me a new project.
A) I see. Well, Kathy and I are having a party at our house this Friday if you have time.
B) I think I will come. I need a break.
A) Great. See you then.

English Conversation 2

A) I have been studying all day, but I still don't understand.
B) I think you have been wasting time all day.
A) What do you mean?
B) You say that you have been studying all day, but every time that I look at you, you are messaging people on your phone.
A) You are right. I need to focus. I am going to turn off my phone.

You can practice speaking English by finishing the sentences below and then practice making your own sentences. It is the best way to learn English and improve your English fluency fast! Also, do not forget to try using it in real life.

Tip: Say the sentences aloud. This will help you practice speaking English and improve your English fluency.

I have been _______________ for many hours.
I have been _______________ since I was young.
She has been _______________ all day.
He hasn't been _______________ for a while.
They have been _______________ since this morning.
The children have been _______________ for a long time.
We have been _______________ since _______________.
I have been _______________ for _______________.