Present Perfect Continuous

The present perfect continuous (or present perfect progressive) is another tense to talk about the present. This tense is similar to the present perfect, but not entirely the same. On this page, you have an overview of when to use this tense and how you form it.

Present perfect continuous tense

You should use the present perfect continuous when there is a clear link between the past and the present and when you want to stress the duration of an action. Below you can find some more information on when to use this tense.

If you are talking about something that started in the past and is still going on or when you can still see the results/effect of that action. Important is that you want to stress the duration of that action

  • have been studying for 3 hours now and I’m only halfway!
Present Perfect Continuous Taalhulp Engels - Use

How to form the present perfect continuous

Present perfect continuous positive

To form a positive statement in the present perfect continuous (or present perfect progressive), you always need three parts:

present simple of ‘to have’ + been + ing-form of the main verb

I have been selling
You have been selling
He/she/it has been selling
We have been selling
You have been selling
They have been selling

When an infinitive ends in <e>, you drop the <e> and add <ing>.

  • To write: I have been writing.
Present Perfect Continuous Taalhulp Engels - Form

Present perfect continuous negative

To make the negative form of the present perfect continuous (or present perfect progressive), you need to use ‘not’ and put it after the auxiliary verb ‘to have’.

I have not been selling
You have not been selling
He/she/it has not been selling
We have not been selling
You have not been selling
They have not been selling

Present perfect continuous questions

If you want to form a question in the present perfect continuous (or present perfect progressive), you need four elements in a particular order:

present simple of ‘to have’ + subject + been + ing-form of the main verb

Have I been selling?
Have you been selling?
Has he/she/it been selling?
Have we been selling?
Have you been selling?
Have they been selling?

Time indicators

If you see one of these time indicators in a sentence, it might be an indication that you have a present perfect continuous.

  • All day, for hours, since 7 April 2020, for weeks, since yesterday

Examples

PositiveNegativeQuestions
I have been waiting
He has been running
I have not been waiting
He has not been running
Have I been waiting?
Has he been running?

Exercises

Related articles