Present Perfect Continuous Tense

The Present Perfect Continuous Tense is formed by combining ‘have / has been’ with a present participle.

have / has been + Present Participle = Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Examples:

have been + choosing = have been choosing

has been + teaching = has been teaching


We use the present perfect continuous tense to talk about an action which started in the past and is still going on. ‘For’ and ‘since’ are often used with the tense.




Examples:

Mrs. Williams has been ironing the clothes for half an hour.

(She is still ironing the clothes now.)


The Browns have been staying in the hotel for a fortnight.

(They are still staying in the hotel now.)


Suzy has been doing the jigsaw puzzle since nine o’clock this morning.

(She is still doing the puzzle now.)


How long have you been vacuuming the floor?

(You are still vacuuming the floor now.)


The mechanic has been repairing the car since two days ago.

(He is still repairing the car now.)


I have been searching for my pen for 15 minutes.

(I am still searching for my pen now.)


Exercises

A. Fill in the blanks with the present perfect continuous tense of the verbs in brackets.

1. My father ____________ (write) a report for an hour.

2. The police ____________ (investigate) the case since last week.

3. Mark ____________ (dig) for earthworms for ten minutes.

4. The children ____________ (play) hopscotch for the past hour.

5. The milkmaid ____________ (milk) the cows since 7 a.m.

6. The waiters ____________ (wait) on the customers for three hours.

7. Lilian ____________ (browse) through the magazines since half an hour ago.

8. He ____________ (worked) as an accountant for about eight years.


B. Rewrite the following sentences, using the present perfect continuous tense of the verbs in brackets.

1. Edward (live) in Shanghai since he left school.

2. My maid (water) the plants for ten minutes.

3. The poor child (cry) for half an hour. Can you stop him?

4. The artist (draw) the picture since dawn.

5. The teenagers (spear) fish in the river all morning.

6. The ladies (make) themselves up for thirty minutes.

7. Your faulty clock (chime) for five minutes.

8. Laura (play) the piano since 9.30 a.m.


Answers

A.

1. has been writing

2. have been investigating

3. has been digging

4. have been playing

5. has been milking

6. have been waiting

7. has been browsing

8. has been working


B.

1. Edward has been living in Shanghai since he left school.

2. My maid has been watering the plants for ten minutes.

3. The poor child has been crying for half an hour. Can you stop him?

4. The artist has been drawing the picture since dawn.

5. The teenagers have been spearing fish in the river all morning.

6. The ladies have been making themselves up for thirty minutes.

7. Your faulty clock has been chiming for five minutes.

8. Laura has been playing the piano since 9.30 a.m.