present perfect vs. present perfect continuous

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the Present Perfect vs. the Present Perfect Continuous Tense:

the Present Perfect vs. the Present Perfect Continuous Tense Let’s review: -the forms of each (=structure) -the difference in meaning between each tense

1) the Present Perfect Tense:

1) the Present Perfect Tense The Present Perfect has many uses and is very common in English. Generally speaking, the Present Perfect is used to connect the past and the present; we often use this grammar for an action that started in the past, but is still happening today. Here is an Example . . . . .

1) the Present Perfect Tense:

1) the Present Perfect Tense I have lived in San Diego for 10 years. Meaning = I moved to San Diego 10 years ago and I still live here today. The Present Perfect connects the past and the present.

1) the Present Perfect Tense:

1) the Present Perfect Tense Another common use of the Present Perfect is . . . To talk about recently finished actions (often with just ) (or yet for negative forms) Examples: Susan has just mopped the floor, so don’t walk on it! Or: She hasn’t mopped the floor yet .

the Present Perfect Tense -Form-:

the Present Perfect Tense -Form- has or have + past participle But . . . what does “past participle” mean? Negative: hasn’t or haven’t + Past Participle

Past participle for regular verbs::

Past participle for regular verbs : = the same as the simple past tense. Regular verbs require –ed in the simple past tense. For these verbs, the past participle is the same. What is the past participle for these verbs? live work talk

Past participle for irregular verbs::

Past participle for irregular verbs : = depends on the particular verb. Irregular verbs do not take – ed in the simple past. For these verbs, you must memorize the past participle form. Do you know the past participle for these verbs? be know get Note: The simple past and the past participle forms are the same for certain verbs. (i.e., teach, bring, have, send)

2) The Present Perfect Continuous Tense:

2) The Present Perfect Continuous Tense The present perfect continuous is often very similar in meaning to the present perfect tense. Just like the Present Perfect, we can use this grammar to talk about something that started in the past, but is still happening. But the present perfect continuous focuses more on the continuous action. The emphasis is on the duration of the action.


Example: It began raining two hours ago. It is STILL raining now. *It has been raining for two hours. This is the present perfect continuous tense.

Present Perfect Continuous Form::

Present Perfect Continuous Form: This grammar has 3 parts: HAS or HAVE + BEEN + verb in -ING

Negative Form::

Negative Form: hasn’t (=has not) been +– ing haven’t (=have not) been +– ing John has not been living in L.A. for very long. (or hasn’t been living) I have not been exercising very much recently. (or haven’t been exercising)

More Examples of P.P. Continuous::

More Examples of P.P. Continuous: Jane started to work in her garden at 8:00 this morning. Now it is 12:00. She has been working in her garden for 4 hours! Wow! That’s a long time!

PowerPoint Presentation:

Where’s Kelly? She’s sleeping. She ’s been sleeping for a long time. Sam and Paul are talking in the hallway. They have been talking since their class ended.

Difference in Meaning::

Difference in Meaning: UNLIKE the Present Perfect, the Present Perfect Continuous is never used to talk about recently finished actions. Susan has mopped the floor. - present perfect (recently finished) 2) Susan has been mopping the floor for 15 minutes. -p.p. continuous; not finished yet

Difference in Meaning::

Difference in Meaning: The present perfect focuses more on the result of the action while the present perfect continuous focuses more on the action itself. Tom and Lucy have been painting all morning! (focus on the activity) They have just painted the living room. Doesn’t it look great? (focus on the result)

PowerPoint Presentation:

Note! In English, we don’t usually use stative (non-action) verbs with continuous tenses. Example: Jean got a headache two hours ago. She still has a headache now. Because “have” is a stative verb, we don’t like to put it in continuous form; so instead, we use present perfect: Jean has had a headache for two hours. She has been having a headache for two hours.

PowerPoint Presentation:

Review: The Present Perfect and the Present Perfect Continuous can be often be used in the same circumstance .-especially with the verbs live, work, and study (+when we use since/for) Example: 1) I have worked at ECC for many years. -present perfect 2) I have been working at ECC for many years. -present perfect continuous -In this case, both actions started in the past and continue up to the present time.

PowerPoint Presentation:

Review: 2. However, we DON’T use the Present Perfect Continuous with stative (non-action) verbs; instead, we prefer to use the Present Perfect. Example: 1) I have been knowing Maria for many years. -INCORRECT 2) I have known Maria for Many years. -CORRECT

PowerPoint Presentation:

Review: 3. Present Perfect is often used for actions that were recently completed. We often use “just” in these cases. -Mark has just finished his Math homework. *We also use the present perfect with YET in negative sentences: -Mark hasn’t finished his Math homework yet.


Review: 4. Present Perfect Continuous is preferred when we want to emphasize the duration of an action that is not yet finished. -Ana has been studying for three hours! She should take a break!


Review: 5. We use the pr esent perfect continuous when we are focusing on an activity that has been going on and on (and is not finished yet). However, the present perfect is preferred when the focus is more on the result of a recently finished action.

Practice makes Perfect!:

Practice makes Perfect! For additional practice, go to our class website: -Under Weekly Grammar PowerPoints , click on WEEK 3 Grammar Practice .

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