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Theory Introduction

 

The Perfect Continuous forms denote actions in progress, the duration of which before a definite moment in the present, past or future is expressed.

The tenses of this group are formed with the auxiliary verb to be in one of the Perfect tenses and Participle I of the notional verb.

 

The Present Perfect Continuous Tense

(have/has been + V-ing)

 

The Present Perfect Continuous tense is formed with the auxiliary verb to be in the Present Perfect (have/has been) and Participle I (V-ing) of the notional verb.

In the interrogative form the first auxiliary verbs is placed before the subject.

In the negative form the negative particle not is placed after the first auxiliary verb.

 

Affirmative Interrogative Negative
I have been working   He She has been working It   We You have been working They Have I been working?   he Has she been working? it   we Have you been working? they   How long have you been working here? I have not been working   He She has not been working It   We You have not been working They

The Present Perfect Continuous tense is used:

1. to emphasize the duration of an action which started in the past and continues up to the present:

a) with since (denoting the starting point of the action),

It has been raining since morning.

I have been waiting for you since 9 o’clock.

If the conjunction sinceintroduces a clause, the verb in this clause is in the Past Indefinite.

Bill has been looking for a job since he graduated from university.

Ever since I sawyou last I have been thinking of your proposal.

b) with for (denoting the whole period of duration).

They have been studying English fortwo years.

It has been snowing for three days already.

c) with how long (to refer to an activity which started in the past and continues up to the present and possibly into the future).

How long have you been writing your course paper? – Two weeks.

2. to express an activity throughout the recent period (often with all + time references: all day/all night).

She has been typing these letters all day.

I have been reading the book about the earthquakes.

(Describes the activity. The book is not finished.)

3. to refer to an activity which started in the past and lasted for some time. The activity may have finished or may still be going on. The result of the action is visible in the present.

You look tired. – I have been working in he garden.

Why are your eyes red? – I have been crying.

Some verbs like study, learn, teach, lie, live, rain, sit, sleep stand, wait, work, travel, play,etc., naturally suggest continuity and are often used in the Present Perfect Continuous.

Have you been waiting long here? – Ten minutes.

4. to express repeated actions over a period of time.

I’m annoyed. He has been phoning me every night for the whole week.

5. to express complaints.



The room stinks. Someone has been smoking in here.

Time expressions used with Present Perfect Continuous: all day/morning, etc., for, since, lately, recently.

 


Date: 2015-12-11; view: 900


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