Present Perfect Continuous Lesson

Present Perfect Continuous Lesson (Download)
Present Perfect Continuous Worksheet (Download)

We use the present perfect continuous to talk about something that started in the past and is continuing in the present or that has just recently stopped. Put simply, it refers to a duration of time something has been happening. So, time duration phrases are often used with the present perfect continuous, such as ‘for three months’, ‘since February’, ‘for the last few days’ etc.

I have been learning guitar for three months.

We have been dating since February.

She has been feeling unwell for the last few days.

We can also use other time references such as, ‘recently’, ‘these days’, ‘lately’, etc.

I have been studying a lot recently.

They have been recycling everything these days.


The present perfect continuous is formed by using, have + been + present participle (continuous form of the verb ending in ‘–ing’)

Subject + have + been + present participle

I have been watching

She has been taking


It is important to learn the affirmative, negative and interrogative forms:-

Affirmative: – I have been watching that new Korean soap.

Negative: – I haven’t been watching that new Korean soap.

Interrogative: – Have you been watching that new Korean soap?


Interrogative: – How long have you been watching that Korean soap?

Affirmative: – I have been watching that Korean soap for two years.

Exercise 1:
Have groups brainstorm to come up with present perfect continuous questions for the following verbs. Elicit some sample questions to give students an idea of the kind of questions they should come up with:

watch / study / feel / do / play / try / work / read

After they have come up with enough questions, check to make sure they are worded correctly.                                                                                                                   

Have students walk around the class asking their classmates the questions and recording short form (Yes, I have/No, I haven’t) of the answers.                                                                       
Then, have students report their answers to the class using the long form of the present perfect continuous. Correct and drill where necessary.

Exercise 2:
Have a quick review of the present perfect tense – we use the present perfect to talk about something that has happened at an unspecified time before now.

Auxiliary verb (to have) + Main verb (past participle)

I have been (I’ve been)

She has seen (She’s seen)


Affirmative:                    I have been to China before.           

Negative:                        I haven’t been to China before.

Interrogative:                Have you been to China before?


Show the students the following sentences and have them discuss in groups (or decide individually) whether the present perfect or present perfect continuous should be used. Then, write the correct sentence.


  • I (work)………………… on my assignment all day long.

  • She (already, finish)………………… her homework.

  • They (build)………… this school for two years and it’s still not finished.

  • It (rain) ……….. for five hours now.

  • He (live)……….. in London since 1982.