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Present Perfect or Present Perfect Continuous

Present Perfect or Present Perfect Continuous

Date: Oct 03 2007

Topic: Grammar

Author: rhyme_reason


Often there is very little difference between the present perfect simple and the present perfect continuous. In many cases, both are equally acceptable.

  • They've been working here for a long time but Andy has worked here for even longer.
  • I've lived here for 10 years and she has been living here for 12 years.

To emphasize the action, we use the continuous form.

  • We've been working really hard for a couple of months.
  • She's been having a hard time.

To emphasize the result of the action, we use the simple form.

  • I've made fifteen phone calls this morning.
  • He's written a very good report.

Look at the difference in these examples.

  • I've been reading this book for two months but I've only read half of it. It's very difficult to read.
  • She's been trying to convince him for 20 minutes but she hasn't managed to yet.
  • They've been talking about this for month and they still haven't found a solution.

When an action is finished and you can see the results, use the continuous form.

  • The phone bill is enormous. You've been calling your boyfriend in Australia, haven't you?
  • You're red in the face. Have you been running?

When you use the words 'ever' or 'never', use the simple form.

  • I don't know them. I've never met them.
  • Have you ever heard anything so strange in your life.


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Saudi Arabia

it’s so useful
thx alot :)

08:11 PM Mar 10 2009 |



Dominican Republic


06:09 PM Mar 10 2009 |


Saudi Arabia

Thanks a lot.

I really found this interesting, especially the difference between the two forms which is to emphasize something either the act or the result. 

09:16 AM Feb 16 2009 |

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