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Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Present Perfect Continuous Tense – Definition and Examples

Present Perfect Continuous Tense is used to describe the events that have started in the past and still continuing or have stopped just a little time back. Please note that unlike the Present Continuous Tense and the Present Perfect Tense the Present Perfect Continuous Tense also determines the exact time in the past when the event actually started or gives a time frame of the incident.

The word ‘since’ is used whenever the exact time of start has to be mentioned and ‘for’ is used if the stipulated time frame is to be mentioned. Consider the following example sentences written in Present Perfect Continuous form-

1) He has been living here since 2008.

2) He has been working on the project for past three days.

3) They have been complaining for days.

4) He has not been living here since 2008.

5) He has not been working on the project for past three days.

6) They have not been complaining for days.

7) Has he been living here since 2008?

8) Has he been working on the project for past 3 days?

9) Have they been complaining for days?

The first sentence specifies the exact year therefore ‘since’ is used while the second sentence does not provide a fixed time therefore ‘for’ is used like in the third sentence. Also, the following fourth, fifth and sixth sentences represent negative sentences in Present Perfect Continuous form and the last three sentences are interrogative. We will further understand the three forms of sentences in Present Perfect Continuous Tense with the help of suitable examples and structural formula.

Formula and Rules in Present Perfect Continuous Tense

a) Positive Sentences

Structure/ Formula:

The formula for Positive sentences in Present Perfect Continuous form is –

(Subject + has/have been + ‘ing’ form of verb + time of occurrence)

Rule for Positive Sentences in Present Perfect Continuous form:

If the subject is – he, she, it or a singular noun then it is followed by ‘has been’ but if the subject is - they, we, I or a plural noun then it should be followed by ‘have been’. The verb used should be in the ‘ing’ form followed by the time of occurrence of the event. Go through the following example sentences written as positive sentences in Present Perfect Continuous form-

  • He has been singing for an hour now.
  • She has been complaining since morning.
  • It has been running since last Saturday.
  • Dog has been barking for five hours.
  • They have been travelling since Monday.
  • We have been worrying for past two hours.
  • I have been correcting your mistakes for two years.
  • Girls have been dancing since morning.

Practice forming new Positive sentences in Present Perfect Continuous form applying the formula and getting help from the examples.

 

b) Negative Sentences

Structure/Formula

The Formula for Negative Sentences in Present Perfect Continuous form is –

(Subject + have not/has not been + ‘ing’ form of verb + time of occurrence)

Rule for Negative Sentences in Present Perfect Continuous Form:

If the subject is – he, she, it or a singular noun then ‘has not been’ is used and if the subject is- we, they, I or a plural noun then ‘have not been’ is used. The form of the verb remains same as in positive sentences i.e. ‘ing form’ followed by the time frame. Carefully go through the following negative sentences written in Present Perfect Continuous form-

  • He has not been playing since last year.
  • She has not been attending the lectures for a month.
  • It has not been moving since yesterday.
  • Vendor has not been coming since yesterday.
  • We have not been visiting our parents since last Christmas.
  • They have not been eating since morning.
  • I have not been complaining about the food for two weeks.
  • Ships have not been sailing since last year.

Practice forming more Negative Sentences in the Present Perfect Continuous form taking guidance from the formula and example sentences.

c) Interrogative-Negative Sentences in Present Perfect Continuous Form

Negative sentences in the Present Perfect Continuous Form can be easily transformed into Interrogative – Negative sentences in Present Perfect Continuous Form by suffixing with ‘why’. For Example-

  • Why he has not been playing since last year?
  • Why she has not been attending the lectures for a month?
  • Why it has not been moving since yesterday?
  • Why they have not been eating since morning?
  • Why we have not been visiting our parents since last year?
  • Why ships have not been sailing since last year?

The above sentences are a different from their counterparts in Negative form in a way that they are Interrogative. Adding ‘Why’ has changed the Negative-Sentences into Interrogative – Negative sentences with no change in their Present Perfect Continuous Form.

 

d) Interrogative Sentences

Structure/Formula

The formula for Interrogative sentences in Present Perfect Continuous from is-

(Has/Have + subject + been + ‘ing’ form of verb + time frame)

Rule for Interrogative Sentences in Present Perfect Continuous Form:

If the subject is – he, she, it or a singular noun then the sentence starts with ‘Has’ followed by the ‘subject + been’ and ‘ing’ form of the verb and time frame. If the subject is – we, they, I or a plural noun, then the subject starts with ‘Have’ followed by the ‘subject + been’ and ‘ing’ form of the verb and at last by time frame. Examples of Interrogative Sentences in Present Perfect Continuous form are given below-

  • Has he been working here since last year?
  • Has she been writing for three hours?
  • Has it been weaving for five hours?
  • Has pigeon been flying nonstop for six months?
  • Have we been wandering since yesterday?
  • Have they been revolting since 1978?
  • Have I been sleeping for six hours?
  • Have children being playing since morning?

Try forming new Interrogative sentences in Present Perfect Continuous form with the help of the formula and taking guidance from the examples.

Interesting to note that the interrogative sentences given above can easily be transformed into positive sentences by simply exchanging the places of has/have with the subject.  E.g. consider the first two sentences-

  • Has he been working here since last year? - Interrogative
  • He has been working here since last year. – Positive
  • Has she been writing for three hours? – Interrogative
  • She has been writing for three hours. – Positive

Likewise form sentences in interrogative form and change them into positive form by simply interchanging the places of has/have with the subject.

e) Interrogative-Negative sentences in Present Perfect Continuous form

Interrogative sentences in Present Perfect Continuous form can changed into Interrogative-Negative sentences in Present Perfect Continuous form by adding ‘not’ in between the subject and ‘been’. For Example-

  • Has he not been working here since last year?
  • Has she not been writing for three hours?
  • Has it not been weaving for five hours?
  • Have we not been wandering since yesterday?
  • Have they not been revolting since 1978?

Please note that The above Interrogative- Negative sentences may also be started with ‘why’ without changing their tenses form.  For Example:

  • Why has he not been working here since last year?

Or

  • Why he has not been working here since last year?

Both the above sentences are – interrogative, negative and structurally correct. Only the change that the addition of ‘why’ has made is that the questions now demands an explanation/reason rather than simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as an answer.

Exercises/Worksheet/Activities on Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Fill in the Blank Exercises/Worksheets/Activities on Positive/Negative/Interrogative form of Present Perfect Continuous Tense:

Complete the following sentences by filling in with appropriate verbs, auxiliary verbs (has, have), been wherever necessary so as to form sentences in Present Perfect Continuous Tense. Take the help of hints wherever provided.

1) He has ________ looking for you since yesterday.

2) She ________ not been cleaning the floor for three days.

3) They _________ been wandering in the forest for a week.

4) We _________not been going to the lectures since last week.

5) Has ________ not been coming to the school for two days?

6) Have ________ been complaining about the mess food since last year.

7) I have been working in the same company ________ 2015.

8) She has been foraging through the remains _________ over five hours.

9) Have the children been __________ since morning?

10) It has been raining ________ midnight.

11) They have _______ been studying well for the exam since last week.

12) We _______ been looking for him for last five days.

13) Dogs _______ been barking _______ morning.

14) I ________ not been ________ to my parents since last year.

15) ________ they been going to the college since last month?

16) ________ he been missing the calls for an hour?

17) She ________ not been answering the calls _________ morning.

18) He has been worrying about results ________ morning.

19) Have we been __________ to the charity?

20) _______ she been travelling since last night?

Answers- 1)been, 2)has, 3)have, 4)have, 5)he/she, 6)we/they, 7)since, 8)for, 9)playing, 10)since, 11)not, 12)have, 13)have, since, 14)have, going, 15)have, 16)has, 17)has, since, 18)since, 19)contributing, 20) has


 

MCQ Exercises/Worksheets/Activities on Positive/Negative/Interrogative Present Perfect Continuous Tense:

Complete the following sentences by choosing the appropriate verbs, auxiliary verbs (has, have), been from the choices provided so as to form sentences in Present Perfect Continuous Tense.

1) He ________ been looking at you for an hour.

a) has

b) have

c) not

2) She has ________ writing to the management for six months.

a) be

b) been

c) being

3) _________ have been searching for the clues since morning.

a) he

b) she

c) they

4) The minister _________ been roaming in his constituency since last week.

a) has

b) have

c) had

5) I have been looking for you _________ morning.

a) for

b) this

c) since

6) He _________ not been working here since last year.

a) has

b) have

c) had

7) ________ have not been coming to play since last week.

a) they

b) them

c) he

8) He has not been ________ for two days.

a) eat

b) eating

c) ate

9) Teachers have not been teaching ________ morning.

a) since

b) for

c) from

10) It _______ not been working for three days.

a) have

b) had

c) has

11) She has not been __________ for six months.

a) listening

b) listened

c) listen

12) She _______ not been meeting her parents ______ last Saturday.

a) have, for

b) has, since

c) had, for

13) ________ you been going to the gym for two months?

a) had

b) have

c) has

14) Have ________ been playing since morning?

a) them

b) they

c) she

15) ________ he been working on the project since yesterday?

a) has

b) have

c) had

16) Have they been asking for food ________ morning?

a) for

b) since

c) hence

17) ________ she been practicing for the contest since yesterday?

a) has

b) have

c) had

18) Has she been cooking ________ one hour?

a) since

b) for

c) by

19) _______ we been playing well since yesterday?

a) has

b) have

c) had

20) He has been talking on phone _______ an hour.

a) for

b) since

c) from

Answers- 1)a, 2)b, 3)c, 4)a, 5)c, 6)a, 7)a, 8)b, 9)a, 10)c, 11)a, 12)b, 13)b, 14)b, 15)a, 16)b, 17)a, 18)b, 19)b, 20)a


 

True or False Exercises/Worksheets/Activities on Positive/Negative/Interrogative Present Perfect Continuous Tense:

Determine whether the following sentences are correct or not i.e. they represent the correct Present Perfect continuous Tense or not?  You can cross check your progress with the answers/corrections provided at the end.

1) He has working since morning.

2) She has been cooking since evening.

3) They have been providing all the information since three months.

4) I have been sleeping since afternoon.

5) We has been looking for him for morning.

6) Dog has been waging its tail for an hour.

7) She have not been singing for six months.

8) They have not been coming here for three years.

9) He has not performing well for last year.

10) Tourists have not been visiting for last summer.

11) Authorities have not been responding to the complaints for seven days.

12) Animals has not been eating since yesterday.

13) Has he been going to the classes since yesterday?

14) Have she been complaining for six months?

15) Have you been attending the conference since Monday?

16) Has the kids been eating the same food since two days?

17) Have the lawyers been striking for a week?

18) Have he been using same pen for ten months?

19) Have the stars been glowing bright since evening?

20) Has the birds flying for midnight?

Answers- 1)False, 2)True, 3)False, 4)True, 5)False,6)True, 7)False, 8)True, 9)False, 10)False, 11)True, 12)False, 13)True, 14)False, 15)True, 16)False, 17)True, 18)False, 19)True, 20)False

Check your answers with the correct sentences given below.

1) He has been working since morning.

3) They have been providing all the information for three months.

5) We have been looking for him since morning.

7) She has not been singing for six months.

9) He has not been performing well since last year.

10) Tourists have not been visiting since last summer.

12) Animals have not been eating since yesterday.

14) Has she been complaining for six months?

16) Have the kids been eating the same food for two days?

18) Has he been using same pen for ten months?

20) Have the birds been flying since midnight?