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16. Present Perfect Continuous or Simple

FORM 7

1 I have been doing or I have done?

Mike has been repairing the car.

We use the Present Perfect Continuous for an
action happening over a period of time.
We are thinking of Mike doing
the repair and getting oil on his hands.

Here are some more examples.

OVER A PERIOD (have been doing)

We've been touring Scotland.
A strong wind
has been blowing all day.
Vicky is out of breath. She
's been running.
I
've been writing an essay. I'm tired now.

We normally use the continuous form when we
say
how long.
Rachel has been playing music all day.
I
've been ironing shirts since ten o'clock.
How
long have you been learning to drive?

Mike has repaired the car.

We use the Present Perfect Simple for a complete
action. We are thinking of the finished repair and the result of the repair - that the car is all right now.




COMPLETE (have done)

We've finished our tour of Scotland.
The wind has blown a tree over.
Vicky is here at last. She's run all the way.
I've written an essay. I can hand it in now.

We normally use the simple form when we say
how much/many.
Rachel has played at least twenty CDs.
I've ironed eight shirts.
How many driving lessons have you had?

2 States and actions

We cannot normally use the continuous form with a state verb.
I've known the secret for a long time. NOT I've been knowing the secret.
My parents have had this car for about ten years.
We've never been very happy here, I'm afraid.

Live and work (= have a job) can be continuous or simple, with no difference in meaning.
We've been living here since 1992. OR We've lived here since 1992.
Sarah has been working for the company for three years now. OR Sarah has worked for the company for three years now.

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