Present Perfect Progressive

The present perfect progressive (continuous) tense describes an action that started in the past and it’s still going on at the present time or the action has an effect on the subject being referred to.

  • I’m tired, I’ve been working all day. 

In this example, the speaker is tired now because she/he started working at some time in the past and she/he got tired at some point. We don’t know if the person stopped working or if she/he is still working.

  • I’ve been writing all day long, my fingers are sore. 

In this example, the person started to write at some point in the past which continues to affect the conditions of her/his fingers, that is they are sore. We don’t know if the person finished writing or not.

  • A)
    John, have a beer.
  • B)
    No thanks, I’ve been drinking all day.

    In this example, person B is refusing a beer because she/he was drinking all day and now person B wants to stop drinking.

    How long have you been waiting for her?
  • B)
    I’ve been waiting for her for half an hour and she still isn’t here.
  • In this example, person B started waiting for a woman at some point in time in the past, but person B is still waiting because the friend hasn’t arrived yet.

  • A)
    You look awful! What’s wrong with you?
  • B)
    I’ve been feeling bad lately, I think I’m sick.
  • In this case, person B started feeling sick at some point in the past, but she/he is feeling sick at the present time.

  • A)
    Hey, your English is great! How long have you been studying it?
  • B)
    I’ve been studying English for two years now.
  • In this example, person B started studying English two years ago and she/he is still studying English now.

    The structure for the present perfect continuous is as follows:

     Subject + have/has  + been  + Verb in Ing  + Complementizer
     been  dating  her for a long time. 
     been  eating  since 12:00 PM. 
     been  singing  since she was a child. 
     been  swimming  all day. 
     been  raining  since this morning. 
     been  watching  a good movie. 
     been  working  hard lately. 
     been  dancing  all night.

    Don’t confuse the present progressive and the present perfect progressive. Notice the difference between the two tenses.

    Present Progressive:

        • Turn the stereo off please, I’m studying. 
        • I’m writing a letter. 
        • I’m cooking right now. 

    In the above examples, the action is continuing at the present moment without reference to the past.

    Present Perfect Progressive:

        • I’ve been studying for two hours.
        • I’ve been writing a letter for the last hour. 
        • I’ve been cooking since 12:00 PM. 

    In these examples, the action is continuing, but the speaker has given a point of time in the past as a reference of when the action started.

    The negative form of the present perfect progressive is as follows:

        • I haven’t been dating her for a long time. 
        • You haven’t had anything to east since 12:00 PM. 
        • She hasn’t been singing since she was a child. 
        • He hasn’t been swimming all day. 
        • It hasn’t been raining since this morning. 
        • We haven’t seen each other for a long time.
        • They haven’t gone out for quite awhile. 

    It is more common to use the contracted form of “have not” and “has not“.

        • I haven’t been …
        • You haven’t been …
        • She hasn’t been …
        • He hasn’t been …
        • It hasn’t been …
        • They haven’t been …
        • We haven’t been …