Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Present Perfect Continuous Tense is one of the 4 sub-tenses of Present Tense. Present Perfect Continuous Tense refers to actions/events which have happened recently or are in progress to be completed in near future. It uses two auxiliary (helping verbs) verbs along with the main verb.

present perfect continuous tense timeline

It can be differentiated from other sub-tenses through understanding of their structure.

The structures of the Present Perfect Continuous Tense with examples are as follows:

1. Sub + has/have been +v4 + obj. (Affirmative i.e. Positive sentences)

For Example:

  • I have been singing a folk song.
  • He has been laughing.

2. Sub + has/have + not + been + v4 + obj. (Negative Questions)

For Example:

  • I have not been singing a folk song.
  • He has not been laughing.

3. Has/Have + sub + been + v4 + obj (Positive Interrogative)

For Example:

  • Have I been singing a folk song?
  • Has he been laughing?

4. Has/Have + sub + not + been + v4  + obj (Negative Interrogative)

For Example:

  • Have I not been singing a folk song?
  • Has he not been laughing?

5. Wh-word + has/have + sub + been + v4 + obj? (Wh-question)

For Example:

  • What have I been singing?
  • What has he been doing?

Where Present Perfect Continuous Tense is used?

present perfect continuous tense usage

Present Continuous Tense is used with actions which started in the past and are still in progress at the time of speaking.

  1. They have been preparing barbeque.
  2. I have been playing polo.
  3. We have been talking to them for an hour.
  4. He has been singing a song.
  5. How long have you been working at this office?

Present Continuous Tense is used with All + present time, since + point in time and period of time  +  now

  1. She has been crying all this working.
  2. Veronica has been working in the Lab all this afternoon.
  3. They have been renovating the house for three weeks now.
  4. My best friend has been teaching in this college since 2014.
  5. He has been scolding his maid since morning.

Present Continuous Tense is used with actions/events which have completed recently.

  1. My father has been talking to my sister over phone.
  2. Debra has been teaching social work at St. Xavier’s college.
  3. Matilda has been preparing lunch.
  4. Harry has been playing video games.
  5. Saint has been teaching his critics.