11. The Present Perfect Continuous Tense

I have been sitting We have been sitting

You have been sitting You have been sitting

He/She/It has been sitting They have been sitting

When you are using the Present Perfect Continuous Tense in speaking or informal writing you may contract the subject and the first auxiliary verb:-

For example: I’ve, We’ve, You’ve, He’s, She’s, It’s, They’ve or Tony’s.

  • I’ve been sitting and reading for nearly 5 hours now.
  • They’ve been working since dawn.

There are 2 uses for the present perfect continuous tense and are usually used in connection to the present and now or an action that started in the past and is still continuing now.

a. An action which has just recently stopped

  • I am sleepy (now) because I have been waking up early these few days.
  • The dog needs some water as it has been running.
  • I am feeling tired. I have been working very hard lately.

b. An action continue till now

  • I have been waiting for him since this morning. ( I am still waiting)
  • She has been studying for her exam since 6 am (She is still studying now)
  • ·Peter has been crying for his mother since last night (he is still crying now)

(Note here that we always use “for” and “since” in the present perfect continuous tense when we use it for (b) the action to continue till now)