Present Continuous and Present Perfect Continuous

when to use use the Present Continuous

  • something is happening now at this moment of speaking (the sun is shining at the moment)
  • a situation is temporary, not necessarily occurring at the moment of speaking (I am reading a book by Hilary Mantel)
  • expressing annoyance at a frequently repeated action (you are always leaving the lights on!)

when to use the Present Perfect Continuous

  • for an action which has started in the past, gone on up to the present and which has just finished or which continues past the time of speaking (I have been swimming. (= my hair is still wet) / I have been waiting for two hours already.)
    signal words: for, since, always, lately, recently (the present perfect continuous can also express this type of action without a time expression)
  • for a seemingly continuous and repeated action without mentioning the number of times it has been done (Elisa has been ringing him since breakfast. He must have turned his phone off.)

exercises

Present Continuous (I am going) and Present Perfect Continuous (I have been going)

  • exercise 1: fill in the correct verb form of the present continuous and the present perfect continuous
  • exercise 2: fill in the correct verb form of the present continuous and the present perfect continuous

useful pages

  • exercises for practising the Present Continuous (I am going)
  • exercises for practising the Present Perfect Continuous (I have been going)