Present Perfect Simple or Present Perfect Continuous
Present Perfect Simple => Action is finished, completely finished !
Present Perfect Continuous => Action is not finished now.
PPS => I have done my homework (I have finished my exercises).
PPC => I have been doing my homework (I have still exercises).
Simple form: I have done my english lesson. (I have finished).
I have repaired my car. (it’s repaired, we can use it).
Continuous form: I have been doing my english grammar lesson. (not the exercise).
I have been repairing my car. (it’s not finished, we can’t use it !).
Simple form = action is finished = How much, How many (times) …
How much have you paid for this car? (I have paid it!)
How many letters have you sent to him? (I’ve sent the letters!)
How many times have you visited London? (Now, I’m in Paris!)
How many lesson have you learnt in english? (Now, I’m fluent).
Continuous form = action isn’t finished = How long …
How long have you been here? (that means we are still in the place).
How long have you been learning English? (I’m still learning with this website!)
1/ Differences between the Present Perfect Simple & the Present Perfect Continuous ?
In many cases, both are equally acceptable. (very little differences)
I’ve lived in London for 10 years and my wife has been living here for 12 years.
They’ve been working here for a long time but I have worked here for even longer.
2/ Use the simple form if you want to emphasize the result of an action.
I’ve made ten phone calls this morning.
Peter, you have written a excellent report.
3/ Use the continuous form if you want to emphasize an action.
They’ve been working really hard for a couple of months.
He’s been having a hard time.
4/ Look at the difference in these examples.
I’ve been reading this book for two weeks but I’ve only read a part of it. It’s too difficult to read.
She’s been trying to convince him for 20 minutes but she hasn’t managed to yet.
We’ve been talking about this for month and we still haven’t found a solution.
5/ With « ever » or « never », we use the simple form.
I don’t know her. I’ve never met her.
Have you ever heard anything so strange in your life?
6/ If an action is finished and you can see the results, we use the continuous form.
The phone bill is enormous. You’ve been calling your boyfriend in Australia, haven’t you?
You’re red in the face. Have you been running?
- 009: Present Perfect: I have done
- 010: Present Perfect: I have done, about our life experience (2)
- 010: Present Perfect until now …
- 010: Present Perfect with SINCE and FOR
- 011: Present Perfect Continuous: I have been doing
- 012: Present Perfect Simple or Present Perfect Continuous?
- 012: Present Perfect Simple or Present Perfect Continuous? (2)