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TEFL Videos - Overview of All English Tenses - Present Tenses - Present Perfect Continuous - Overview
And now we'll have a look at the present perfect continuous tense. As its name suggests, what we're going to do is combine the present continuous usages and the present perfect usages into a tense that basically expresses the fact that we've got an action continuing up until the present point in time. For the form of this tense, again, we're going to combine into various aspects of both the perfect and the continuous tenses. If we have a look we always begin with our subjects, then we have our, two now, helping verbs. The helping verb 'to have' for the perfect tenses, as well as the helping verb 'be' for the continuous tenses. For our subjects 'I', 'you', 'we' and 'they', we leave 'have' as 'have' and for 'he', 'she' and 'it', we conjugate it to 'has'. Because it's a continuous tense, of course we need to use the verb plus '-ing'. This results in sentences such as 'I have been teaching quite some time.' or 'She has been teaching for 15 years.' The negative form of the present perfect continuous remains the same as the positive form and we simply add 'not' in between our two helping verbs 'have' and 'be'. In order to make the present perfect continuous questions, again following with that pattern of inversion, what we've done is put the auxiliary verb 'have' at the beginning of the sentence followed now by the subject 'Have I been teaching for five years?' could be a sentence used there and again, we're going to conjugate our verb to 'has' for 'he', 'she', 'it', resulting in 'Has she been teaching for five years?' The usages for the continuous tense are very similar to that of the present perfect tense but here the focus is on the action and the fact that it has been continuing for some time leading up to the present. Let's have a look. We've got incomplete and ongoing activities with duration. 'I have been teaching for 10 years.' Then, we have our recently finished activities with present results. So our recently finished activity is 'chopping trees' but the present result is 'he is tired' so results in a sentence reading 'He is tired because he's been shopping trees.'