Present perfect continuous tense is used to express an action that started in the past and continued till present. A time reference is found in these kind of sentences like “since 2000”, “for 2 hours”. This time reference specifies that the task has been continued from the past till now. Such time references can be seen in present perfect continuous tense. For Example if a person says,” I have been waiting here for three hours”. It means that the person is waiting for last three hours and he is still waiting. It identifies that he started waiting in the past and still waiting.

The present perfect continuous is used to refer to 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. He/she is interested in the process as well as the result, and this process may still be going on, or may have just finished.

Actions that started in the past and continue in the present

She has been waiting for you all day (= and she’s still waiting now).

I’ve been working on this report since eight o’clock this morning (= and I still haven’t finished it).

They have been travelling since last October (= and they’re not home yet).

Actions that have just finished, but we are interested in the results

She has been cooking since last night (= and the food on the table looks delicious).

It’s been raining (= and the streets are still wet).

Someone’s been eating my chips (= half of them have gone).

Verbs without continuous forms

With verbs not normally used in the continuous form, use the simple present perfect instead (verbs such as: know, hate, hear, understand, want).

I’ve wanted to visit China for years

She’s known Robert since she was a child.

I’ve hated that music since I first heard it.

I’ve heard a lot about you recently.

We’ve understood everything.

Present Perfect continuous Tense is made up of three main parts auxiliary verb has/ have , auxiliary verb been and 1st  form of base verb+ ing.

Present Perfect continuous Tense= Subject +has/have (Helping Verb) + been (Auxiliary verb) + 1st Verb+ing+Object.

Has –> (He, She, It, any Name, Singular noun)

Have –> (I, We, They, You, Plural Noun)

Examples of Present Perfect continuous Tense with structure


Positive Sentence

In positive sentences, we simply make the sentences according to Present Perfect continuous Tense rules.

For Example

He has been walking for two days.

She has been doing this job since 4 o’clock.

have been playing for three hours.

Steve has been feeling little stressed.

You have been teaching me the lesson since morning.

Negative Sentences in the Present Perfect Continuous Tense

When we make negative sentences, we normally use not after auxiliary verbs has/have.

Negative Simple Present tense = Subject +has/have (Helping Verb) + not+ been (Auxiliary verb) + 1st Verb+ ing+ Object.

For example

have been not attending his class since Monday.

Leena has not been practicing her dance.

Mark has not been using too much computer lately.

Recently I have not been feeling bored.

Yes/No Questions in the Present Perfect Continuous Tense

When you make any question that can be answered as yes or no, then you should start it with auxiliary verb followed by the subject, been and 1st form+ ing.

Yes/No Sentences = has/have + Subject +been+ 1st Verb+ ing+ Object?

For example

Have you been watching this serial since morning?

Has Leena been washed her clothes for four hours?

Have you been solving all the questions since 3 p.m.?

Has Steve been reading this book for 3 hours?

Wh- Questions in the Present Perfect Continuous Tense

When you make any question that starts with wh word, then you should start it from wh word  and then add auxiliary verb, after that subject followed by been and 1st form+ ing..

Wh words are when, why, who, where, whom, how, what, how much, how many.

WH Sentences = Wh word + has/have + Subject + been+1st Verb + Ing + Object?

For example

Which technology has she been working, recently?

Where have you been visiting since afternoon?

Why has she been sending me these gifts?

What have you been doing with this book?

Tag Questions in the Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Tag questions are those questions which are answered at the end of the sentence. They can be simply made by adding auxiliary verbs.

For examples

I have been visiting the market, have you not been?

She has been working, has she not been?

You can also use tag questions in positive sentences

She has not been reading news paper, has she been?

Those girls has not been playing basketball, have they been?

Rules of Present Perfect tense

Action started in past and still ongoing

Since when and for how long

Recently and lately

Since and for

Action started in past and still ongoing

Any action which was started in the past and still in progress, then for this kind of sentences we use present perfect continuous tense.

For example

He has been still working.

Why has she been wasting my time?

What have you been thinking about me?


Since when and for how long

When we have “since when” and “for how long” words in the begging of the sentences then present perfect continuous tense is used.

For example

Since when has she been living in this house?

For how long have you been waiting for her?

Since when have you been staying in hotel room?


Recently and lately

When we have “Recently” and “Lately” words in the sentences then present perfect continuous tense is used.

For example

Recently, I have been visiting to Canada.

She has been working too much lately.


Since and for

When we have “Since” and “For” words in the sentences then present perfect continuous tense is used.

For example

It has been raining for five days.

I have been sleeping since 7 O’clock.

Steve has been climbing up this tree for over 3 hours.

More Examples to unfold some other aspects of Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Why have you not been doing anything for 3 months?

have not been working with this company since June 2003.

For how long have you been wasting your time just like this?

Since when has she been teaching him?