The word ‘tense’ is derived from Latin word ‘tempus’ and it means time. Basically tense conveys the time of action.
Tenses are mainly divided into three parts – Present, Past and Future. They are further subdivided into four categories – Indefinite, Continuous, Perfect and Perfect Continuous.
PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS TENSE
PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS TENSE (also called Present Progressive Tense) is generally used for an action which began at some time in past and is still continuing at the time of being reported. It usually emphasizes duration, or the amount of time that an action has been taking place.
This tense is used to denote an unspecified time between 'before now' and 'now'. The speaker is thinking about something that started but perhaps did not finish in that period of time and may still be going on, or may have just finished.
Basic Structure of Sentence
Basic structure of a sentence in this tense is –
Subject + Has/Have + been (third form of be ) + continuous form of verb (V1+ing) + object
Subject has/have been verb’s base+ing object
I have been reading this book.
She has been swimming. (affirmative)
He has been running. (affirmative)
He hasn't been running. (negative)
Has she been running? (interrogative)
Present Perfect Tense is used to describe/show/denote –
1. Something that started in past and continues up to the present moment –
For example :
I've been working on this report since eight o'clock this morning ( I still haven't finished it).
They have been travelling since last October. (They're not home yet).
Sameer has been sleeping since 4 o’clock. (still sleeping)
He has been playing for three hours. (still playing)
2. An action just finished but the long continuation of action is emphasised –
For example :
It's been raining. (and there was no break)
She has been waiting for you all day. (emphasis is over the length of time)
I have been watering my plants. (as an explanation to some query)
Prepositions (for/since) used with certain time expressions:
Since – used to denote point of time when some work/action began.
For – used to denote for total duration of some work/action
e.g. I have been living in Bombay since 2008. (point of time when I started living)
I have been living in Bombay for 11 years. (duration of stay in Bombay)
More adverbs/adverb phrases used as time expressions with since/for:
three hours morning
four days 9.00 a.m.
3 months March
2 years 2018
ages I was a child
ever the very beginning
Verb form used in the Present Perfect Continuous Tense–
The present perfect continuous form of a verb is composed of three elements:
1. Appropriate form of auxiliary/helping verb (have) – have (plural) / has (singular)
2. Third form of be – been
3. Present participle form of main verb (Verb’s base form+ing) – playing, eating, working, reading, singing, writing, etc.
Note : Singular subject takes singular helping verb - Has
Plural subject takes plural helping verb - Have
Have been sleeping
Has been sleeping
Have been working
Has been working
Have been studying
Has been studying
Have been trying
Have been trying
Have been writing
Has been writing
Have been playing
Has been playing
Have been drawing
Has been drawing
Have been teaching
Has been teaching
Have been travelling
Has been travelling
Have been talking
Has been talking
More examples :
They have been talking for an hour.
What have you been doing for the last 30 minutes?
Mr. Joshi has been teaching in this school since April 2012.
We have been waiting here for over two hours.
Why have you not been answering my call for the last three days?
Recently, I have been feeling really tired.
Have you been exercising lately?
They’ve been staying in this house for twenty years.
My father hasn't been feeling well for weeks.
He has been living in Bombay since he got married.
Note : I and You, in spite of being singular, take plural form of helping verb (have). It is an exception to the rule.
Verbs not used in Continuous Tenses :
The verbs which convey sensory actions, perception, possession and state of mind are not used in Continuous Tenses hence, they shouldn’t be used in Present Perfect Continuous Tense.
For example – I have been feeling bad. (incorrect)
I feel bad / I have felt bad. (correct)
She has been knowing you. (incorrect)
She knows you. (correct)
More such verbs (not to be used in Present Perfect Continuous Tense)
feel hear have(to possess)
smell measure assume
believe consider seem
find suppose forget
imagine know mean
recognise remember understand
fear hate hope
love mind prefer
wish cost hold
Exercise for practice
1. She _______________ in this company for three years. (work)
2. What __________ you ___________? (do)
3. He ________________ football for a long time. (play)
4. Mr. Sinha _________ care of his children very well. (take)
5. You _________ TV since 7p.m. (watch)
6. My parents ____________ learning English for six months. (learn)
7. Shikha _____________ us since March. (not visit)
8. The students _________ Math these days. (not practise)
9. I __________ tuitions for ten years. (give)
10. My children ________ very well in Physics. (not perform)
1. Has been working 2. Have – been doing 3. Has been playing
4. Has been taking 5. Have been watching 6. Have been learning
7. has not been visiting 8. Have not been practising 9. Have been giving
10. Have not been performing