Present perfect · Uncategorized

Present Perfect and Present Perfect Progressive (Continuous)

Look at these two sentences:

1 We’ve waited for an hour to get into that club.

2 We’ve been waiting for an hour to get into that club.


They’re both using present perfect. (For a review of present perfect, please go here):

What’s the difference between the two sentences?

The first sentence uses present perfect (simple). It means that you’ve waited there for an hour and this is now the end of the hour. You’re not going to wait any longer. Instead, you’re going to move somewhere else now.

The second sentence uses present perfect progressive (or continuous). This sentence means you’ve been there for an hour but you don’t intend to give up. You’re going to continue waiting.


In other words, the rule is: 1 Use present perfect for situations that started in the past, but that are relevant or true now, but you don’t know what will happen afterwards. They could end.

2 Use present perfect progressive for something that you’re in the middle of when speaking, or for things that will continue after you speak.


Which verbs should you use in Present Perfect?


1 The form of present perfect is have/has + third form of the verb (V3). For instance: I have looked, you have swum, she has promised.

2 The form of present perfect progressive is have/has + been + -ing form of the verb. For instance: I have been looking, you have been swimming, she has been promising.


Here are some more examples:

1 Jessica has lived in Strasbourg for one year. (present perfect)

2 The Fazils have been living in Melbourne for one year. (present perfect progressive).

In 1 we know that Jessica lives in Strasbourg now as well as in the past, but we don’t know about tomorrow.

In 2 we know that the Fazil family lives in Melbourne now as well as in the past, and they probably will live there tomorrow as well.


Last example:

1 Josie has run 10 kilometers today in preparation for the marathon.

She’s finished running for today.

2 Eric has been running all morning, and now he’s exhausted.

He’s finished his running but he’s sweaty and he has his running clothes still on.

runningin heels

New sport: running in heels by Vestman




You can test your knowledge about present perfect and present perfect progressive in the following quiz . You can check your answers at the bottom of this page.

Choose the Present Perfect or the Present Perfect Progressive:

1 Tom and Jerry _______________ (know) each other for a long time.

2 Penny ____________ (work) on her project for the last days, but she still ____________ (not finish) it.

3 This is the first time I _____________ (ride) a horse. At least it ______________ (not throw) me off!

4 We ___________ (drive) the same car for 10 years and it’s still in mint condition.

5 They __________ (paint) the living room from orange to blue.

6 The children _______________ (watch) TV all day. Time to do something else.

7 Since he lost his job, Vince __________ (not do) much with himself.

8 Watch out where you’re going. Nicky _____________ (spill) olive oil on the floor.

9 How many pages ______ you _________ (read) so far?

10 ___________ you __________ all the chocolates? You must be feeling sick.

11 I __________ (wear) these boots since I bought them, last Friday. They’re so comfortable!


Scroll down for the answers.














1 have known

2 has been working, has not finished

3 have ridden, hasn’t thrown

4 have been driving

5 have painted

6 have been watching

7 hasn’t been doing

8 has spilt (or spilled)

9 have you read

10 Have you eaten

11 have been wearing

2 thoughts on “Present Perfect and Present Perfect Progressive (Continuous)

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