Present Perfect Continues Tense in English Grammar

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Present Perfect Continuous Tense indicates an action continuing for a period of time or point of time. When any action or event is continues and there is an indication of time of the action or event is known as present perfect continues tense. This tense is a combined form of the present continues tense and present perfect tense


You will face no difficulty to recognize this tense because, there will be ‘a time marker’ whether it is period of time or point of time. Like before, here, I will discuss over the Present Perfect Continues Tense, its characteristics, its structure along with the negative and interrogative forms.

Structure of Present Perfect Continues

Here is the basic structure of it:

Structure: Have/ Has been+(Verb+ing)+for/since 

have been waiting for you for two hours.
He has been writing the story since Monday.

Have you noticed one thing?


It is about the structure of Present perfect Continues Tense. Yes, I told you that this tense is a combined form of present continues tense and present perfect tense. You will get the signs of both those two tenses in the structure of this tense

In structure, the auxiliary verbs ‘have/has’ have come from the present perfect tense and the pattern of principal verb ‘(verb+ ing)’ has come from the present continues tense.

Finally, these two different forms are added by the auxiliary verb ‘been’. I have explained the structure in this way so that you can easily remember the structure of Present perfect Continues tense.

Now, study the negative and interrogative structures of Present perfect Continues Tense.

It’s not difficult too much. Yes, you have to just add ‘not’ after the auxiliary verb ‘have/has’ in order to make negative. And like before, you must put the auxiliary verbs at the first of the sentence in interrogative form.

Negative Structure: (have/has +not+ been +(verb+ing)+for/since)

have not been waiting for you for two hours.
He has not been writing the story since monday.

Interrogative Structure: (have/has subject+been+(verb+ing)+for/since+object+?)


Have i been waiting for you for two hours?
Has he been writing the story since monday? 

The most important fact!

I know, you have got a new thing in the structure of Present perfect Continues Tense for the first time. And it is the usages of ‘since/for’. Really, this is very much important fact in this tense. You have already noticed that the time is a special feature of Present perfect Continues tense. So, you must be confident of using these two prepositions- ‘since’ and ‘for’.

Usages of ‘Since’ and ‘For’

Usages of ‘for’: If the time is period of time or indefinite, you have to use ‘for’ in structure.

For an example
I have been doing his work for 3 days.
(Here, the time ‘3 days’ is not definite that which 3 days of a week are. So, here, ‘for’ has been used.)


Usages of ‘since’: If the time is point of time or definite, you have to use ‘since’ in structure.


For an example
I have been doing his work since Sunday.
(Here, the time ‘Sunday’ is the definite and particular name of a day in a week. So, here, ‘since’ has been used.)

Special note:
If the time word is a definite figure from clock or calendars such as 10.00 a.m./Friday/January/2014, you will use ‘since’. But if the time word is not particular name or measurement such as ‘2 hours/3 days/5 years‘, you will use ‘for’ in sentences.

For more clear idea, notice these sentences:

  • The boy has been working here for 5 years.
  • (from which year to which is not definite)The boy has been working here since 2005.
  • (the year is particular and definite)
  • They have been playing football for 2 hours.
  • (which 2 hours of 24 hours is not definite)They have been playing football since 4 p.m.
  • (from when is definite)


If you get ‘be verb’ as a one and only verb in a sentence, you have to turn this verb into ‘have been/has been’.Example:
(to be) in Rajshahi for 5 years.
I have been in Rajshahi for 5 years.He (to be) ill since last Sunday.
He has been ill since last Sunday.


When you want to express any continues action or event of present, you do it in present continues tense. But, if you get the time marker phrases’ in sentences, you must translate those sentences into Present Perfect Continuous Tense.

Your brother has been watching Television for 2 hours.
have been waiting here for you since 10.00 a.m.

So, no more today. I hope, you have understood the Present Perfect Continuous Tense clearly and now you can apply it in your language usages.