Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Present Perfect Continuous Tense

The present perfect continuous tense is what you use to describe an action that began in the past and has continued up into the present moment. The tense indicates the duration of time between the onset of an activity and its completion. It also implies that the activity will continue until some time in the future because it is not yet complete.

  • I have been waiting at the mall for over two hours.
  • They have been looking for a dress to wear at this year’s prom since March.
  • We have been planting flowers in the garden until we run out of space.

Forming the Present Perfect Continuous Tense

You form the present perfect continuous tense by combining the present tense form of the auxiliary verb “to have” with the past participle form of the verb “to be” and the -ing form of the root verb.

  • I have been eating almonds since I read that news report about their health advantages.
  • She has been dying her hair since she saw the first signs of gray.
  • They have been waiting to hear from you all day.

Making the Present Perfect Continuous Tense Negative

To make the present perfect continuous tense negative, simply negate the present tense form of the auxiliary verb “to have.”

  • I haven’t been working this month.
  • You have not been swimming at the pool this summer.
  • We haven’t been looking for a new pet.

Phrasing the Present Perfect Continuous Tense as a Question

To phrase the present perfect continuous tense as a question, begin with the present tense form of the auxiliary verb “to have,” followed by the subject, the past participle of the verb “to be,” and the -ing form of the root verb. Interrogatives can also begin with adverbs expressing time or place.

  • Haven’t you been waiting in line for hours already?
  • When haven’t I been working this many weekend hours?
  • Haven’t we been driving long enough to reach the store yet?

Learn more about verb tenses.