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What Is the Present Perfect Progressive Tense? (with Examples)

What Is the Present Perfect Progressive Tense? (with Examples)

The present perfect progressive tense has two uses. It is used for:

(1) a continuous activity that began in the past and continues into the present, or
(2) a continuous activity that began in past but has now finished (usually very recently).

It might seem a little unusual that an activity which started in the past and finished in the past can be categorized as present tense, but this is because it normally has a relevance to the present.

Examples of the Present Perfect Progressive Tense

Here are some examples of the present perfect progressive tense:
  • Amanda has been relying on a pay rise to pay her student loan.
  • (Amanda might still be relying on a pay rise, or she might have received the pay rise. You can't tell from this sentence. However, this information is just setting the scene for some more information about Amanda's present situation.)
  • Mr and Mrs Cox have been taking the wrong pills for years.
  • (The Coxes might still be taking the wrong pills or not. You can't tell from this sentence. However, this information is just setting the scene for some more information about the Coxes' present situation.)
Of course, you can also have the negative version, which is formed "has not been" or "have not been" + "[present particple]":
  • Amanda has not been relying on a pay rise to pay her student loan.
  • Mr and Mrs Cox have not been taking the wrong pills for years.
And the question version:
  • Has Amanda been relying on a pay rise to pay her student loan?
  • Have Mr and Mrs Cox been taking the wrong pills for years?

Forming the Present Perfect Progressive Tense

Here is an infographic explaining the present perfect progressive tense:



The Other Present Tenses

The present perfect progressive tense is one of four present tenses. They are:

The 4 Present Tenses Example
simple present tense I go
present progressive tense I am going
present perfect tense I have gone
present perfect progressive tense I have been going
Note
The present perfect progressive tense is formed:

"has/have been" + [present participle]

For example:
  • I have been working since yesterday evening.
  • She has been chewing for two minutes.

In the examples above, the words "working" and "chewing" (i.e., the [verb] + "ing" part of the construction) are known as present participles. A present participle is formed like this:

Add "ing" to most verbs:
  • play > playing
  • shout > shouting

For verbs that end "e", remove the "e" and add "ing":
  • prepare > preparing
  • ride > riding

For verbs that end "ie", change the "ie" to "y" and add "ing":
  • lie > lying
  • untie > untying

For verbs whose last syllable is written [consonant-vowel-consonant] and is stressed, double the final consonant and add "ing":
  • run > running
  • forget > forgetting
Quick Test
 
 

Take a longer test on the present perfect progressive tense.