Present Perfect Continuous

The present perfect continuous is formed by have / has + been + -ing form

I have been driving               You have been driving               He/she has been driving

We have been driving               They have been driving

Present Perfect Continuous use

Before you learn about the use of the present perfect continuous, beware that there are some verbs which cannot be used in any of the continuous tenses.  Some verbs will sound strange to you in the continuous form, and it is a good idea to learn what these verbs are: Verbs that Cannot be Used in the Continuous Tenses

The present perfect continuous is used to talk about past continuing or repeating events which have been continuing up to now:

 ‘I have been learning English for 6 years’

‘I have been working for 4 hours I need to take a break!’

This is mainly used when we are focusing on the process of something happening, for example focusing on the length of time that something has been happening, like in the sentences above.

If we are focusing just on the end result of something happening, we use the present perfect simple:

‘I have finished the report’

‘I have achieved a lot this year’

But there are certain times when we cannot use it:

  1. For things which have been continuing in the long term.  Often when we use words like ‘always / ever / never’ we just use present perfect simple:

‘I have always played tennis on a Wednesday night ever since I was a child’

2.  If we say how many times we have done something:

‘I have tried to call you three times since this morning!’

‘I have been to Spain twice this year already!’

3.  If we are using verbs of emotion:

‘I have always hated fish’

For a clearer picture of when to use the present perfect continuous click on the link below:

Find your tense – Present Perfect or Present Perfect Continuous