CATEGORIES:

# The present perfect continuous

A Introduction

We use the present perfect continuous for an action (waiting). The action happens over a period of time (for twenty minutes). Here the period lasts up to the present - they are still waiting now.

B Form

The present perfect continuous is the present tense of have + been + an ing-form.

I/you/we/they have been waiting or I/you/we/they've been waiting he/she/it has been waiting or he/she/it's been waiting

NEGATIVE QUESTION

I/you/we/they haven't been waiting have I/you/we/they been waiting?

he/she/it hasn't been waiting has he/she/it been waiting?

We've been standing here for ages. It has been raining all day.

Have you been waiting long? Our team hasn't been doing very well lately.

C Use

We use the present perfect continuous for an action over a period of time leading up to the present (see A). In these examples the action is still going on.

We've been waiting here for twenty minutes. (We're waiting now.)

Listen. That burglar alarm has been ringing since eight o'clock this morning. We must use the perfect in these situations.

not We wait here for twenty minutes or We're waiting-here for twenty-minutes.

We can use the present perfect continuous to talk about repeated actions up to now.

Natasha has been playing the piano since she was four. We can also use it to talk about an action which ends just before the present.

I've been swimming. That's why my hair is wet.

D For, since, how long and recently

We can use the present perfect continuous with for and since (see Unit 121).

My sister has been staying with me for three weeks now.

You've been playing on that computer since seven o'clock. We use how long in questions.

How long have you been waiting?

Note also recently and lately. These both mean 'in the last few days or weeks'. I haven't been feeling very well recently. What have you been doing lately?

17 Present perfect continuous or simple? 121 For and since

16 Exercises

1 Form (B)

Put in the verbs. Use the present perfect continuous.

Ilona: Sorry I'm late.

Emma: It's OK. (►) / haven't been waiting (I / not / wait) long.

What(l)………………………………….. (you/do)?

Ilona: I've been with Mrs King. (2) .............................................................. (she / help) me with my English.

Emma: Your English is very good. You don't need lessons, surely.

How long (3)......................................................... (you / study) English?

Ilona: Er, eight years now. But my accent wasn't so good before I came to England.

(4) ...................................................... (I / try) to improve it.

Ithink (5)............................................................ (it / get) better lately.

Emma: Your accent is fine, Ilona. Honestly.

2 Use(C)

Say what these people have been doing. Use these verbs: argue, cook, drive, wait, work

► Andrew is tired because he's been working all day.

1 Trevor and Laura are upset because.............. ………………………………………….

2 David is hot because................................................................................... …………….

3 Mark feels very stiff because ............................................................... …………….. all day.

4 Henry is annoyed.............................................................................................................. a long time for Claire.

3 Use(C-D)

What could you say in these situations? Write sentences with the present perfect continuous and a phrase with for. Use these verbs: play, read, swim, talk, travel, work

► A video is on. It began two hours ago, and it hasn't finished yet.
The video has been playing for two hours.

1 Matthew went into the water an hour ago. He doesn't want to come out yet.

2 Your friends started their journey around the world three months ago. They've gone about halfway now.

3 Mark got to the office early this morning. Ten hours later he's still there.

4 Melanie rang Rita forty minutes ago, and they're still on the phone.

5 Trevor has got an interesting book. He started it quite a long time ago. Ask him how long.

Date: 2014-12-22; view: 1673

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