Present Perfect Continuous Summery

Present Perfect Continuous

We use the Present Perfect Continuous for actions in the past which have a connection to the present; actions beginning in the past and still continuing.


We use the Present Perfect Continuous for recently completed actions. The focus is on the action.


Key Words

all day
the whole day

Questions with how long


Present Perfect Continuous Use

The Present Perfect Continuous is also called the Present Perfect Progressive.  This tense is a combination of past and present where actions in the past have something to do with the present. The focus is not on the result (this is the Present Perfect) but on the action itself.


There are two main times we use this tense.

1: To say how long for unfinished actions which started in the past and continue to the present. We often use this with for and since. (See the Present Perfect for the same use with stative verbs)

  • I’ve been living in London for two years.
  • She’s been working here since 2004.
  • We’ve been waiting for the bus for hours.

2: Actions which have just stopped (though the whole action can be unfinished) and have a result, which we can often see, hear, or feel, in the present (focus on action). (See the Present Perfect for a similar use which focuses on the result of the action)

  • I’m so tired, I’ve been studying.
  • I’ve been running, so I’m really hot.
  • It’s been raining, the pavement is wet.
  • I’ve been reading.