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Present Perfect Continuous

PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS TENSE

The present perfect continuous tense is  used to denote a continuing action like present continuous tense.  But there is a difference between them.   If present continuous tense is  normally used to show an action going on at the time of speaking, present perfect continuous tense is used to denote an action that started in the past but still going on. We can understand it from the following example.

Martin conducted a health club for  poor last year.  Still  he is doing it.

From this example, we can understand that , Martin started his action  conduct  in last year,  that is at a time in the past.  But  still,  he is continuing the action  conduct. 

That is, the action  conduct  started once in the past but still continuing. 

To denote this type of verbs,  we use present perfect continuous tense.

To clear it , we can say that  present perfect continuous tense is used to denote an action started in the past but it is continuing  at the time of speaking.

Then, how we can write the above example in present perfect continuous tense…?

As usual, we have to make a pattern here for this tense..

Before that , let’s think what we can find out from the title ,   present perfect continuous tense.

First one is,  it is a continuous action,   second one is that  there is a continuous verb,  the third one is  ‘be ‘forms should come there as auxiliary verbs to help the continuing verb.  we know that a continuous verb means ‘ing’ form of the verb.   But which present tense  forms of ‘be’  should come here…?.  To get an answer for this,  let’s once more look back at the title.  Here, the title says  present perfect continuous,   that is present perfect forms of ‘be’  and  the continuous verb ( V+ing).  so we can understand that the present perfect forms of ‘be’  help the ‘ing  form of the verb.  As seen in the topic,  Auxiliary verbs/ helping Verbs, the present perfect forms of be are ‘ has been’ and ‘have been.’

So we have got the things to make the pattern of present perfect continuous tense.

At first,  subject,  then present perfect forms of ‘be’, that is ‘has been’ and ‘have been’,  next  V+ing,  finally the object.

Let’s think it as in the form of pattern, as

 S + has been, have been + V+ ing + O.

But for convenience,  ‘has been’ and ‘have been’ are  together written as  ‘has’/’have’ + ‘been’.

Now,  we have got the pattern of present perfect continuous tense, as

  • S + ‘has/have’ + ‘been’ + ‘V+ing’ + O

As usual,  ‘has’ and ‘have’   are used in accordance with the ‘numbers’ of the subject.

  • If subject is ‘singular’ in number, ‘has’ is used .

eg:  Thomas has been writing a novel

     S—> ‘Thomas’ ( singular ), so, (has + been + V+ing)

eg: George  has been conducting a Music club

     S —> ‘George’ ( singular ), so, ( has + been + V+ing )

 

  • If subject is ‘plural’ in number, ‘have” is used.

eg. They have been playing base ball.

     S —> ‘They’ ( plural), so, ( have + been + V+ing )

eg: Mathew and Maria have been running a school.

    S —->’ Mathew’ and ‘Maria’ (plural) , so,( have + been + V+ing ) 

 

Now, we have studied the  usage of  present perfect continuous tense and also how to write it.

So let’s bring back the very first sentence that we discussed after the first paragraph.

That is,

Martin conducted a health club for poor last year. Still he is doing it.

This two sentences can be written as one sentence in present perfect continuous tense as,

Martin has been conducting a health club for poor.

   S –> ‘Martin’ ( singular), so, ( has + been + V+ing )

 

Now,  let’s look at the following sentences to study the timing words of  the present perfect continuous tense.

 

1  John ‘has been’ ‘ watching’ a movie for an hour.

2  They ‘have been’  ‘playing’ foot ball  since  10 A.M.

 

From the above sentences we can see the timing words ‘for’ and ‘since’.

‘For’ is used to denote ‘a period of time.’

Here in the first sentence  an hour is ‘a period of time’. So ‘for’ is used there.

So we can say,  ‘for a week’,   ‘for years’,   ‘for two months’,  ‘for six hours’,  etc….

 

In the second   sentence we can see the timing word ‘since’ is used before 10 A.M.

We know  that 10 A.M is a ‘point of time’. So ‘since’ is used to ‘denote  a point of time’.

so we can say,  ‘since 9. A.M’,   ‘since last year’, ‘since yesterday’, ‘since last month’  etc…

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