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Present Perfect Progressive

The present tense is used when speaking about a moment in the present tense that is either finished or unfinished. There are four present tenses in the English language:

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Present Perfect Progressive

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The present tense is used when speaking about a moment in the present tense that is either finished or unfinished. There are four present tenses in the English language:

  1. Present simple

  2. Present perfect

  3. Present progressive

  4. Present perfect progressive

Each present tense follows different rules and has different functions in sentences. We will focus on the present perfect progressive tense in this article, including its meaning and some examples.

Present Perfect Progressive Tense

The present perfect progressive tense (also called the present perfect continuous) is a type of present tense used to talk about an unfinished event that began in the past and is continuing in the present moment. For example:

"We have been dancing."

Present Perfect Progressive Dancing StudySmarterFig. 1 - The present perfect progressive is used to talk about an ongoing action.

Present Perfect Progressive Tense Formula

The formula for the present perfect progressive tense is as follows:

Has/have + been + the present participle (the root form + -ing ending).

For example:

SubjectAuxiliary verb 'has/have'Auxiliary verb 'been'Present participle
Theyhavebeentalking.

This sentence shows that an action began in the past but is still ongoing in the present.

Present Perfect Progressive Rules

In case you need reminding, here are a few rules for when the present perfect progressive is used:

Use the auxiliary verb "have" with the following pronouns:

  • I

  • You

  • We

  • They

For example:

I have been studying since this morning.I has been studying since this morning.
You have been talking for a long time.You has been talking for a long time.
We have been waiting for the package to arrive.We has been waiting for the package to arrive.
They have been singing.They has been singing.

Use the auxiliary verb "has" with the following pronouns:

  • He

  • She

For example:

He has been painting a picture for the past week.He have been painting a picture for the past week.
She has been knitting a scarf.She have been knitting a scarf.

Contractions (combining and shortening two words by using an apostrophe) can be used in more informal situations to give the sentence a conversational tone. For example:

"We've been watching lots of documentaries" instead of "We have been watching lots of documentaries."

"I've been waking up early recently" instead of "I have been waking up early recently."

"She's been visiting her parents every day" instead of "She has been visiting her parents every day."

You should not use contractions in formal situations - such as academic writing, speeches, or formal conversations.

Present Perfect Progressive Informal Conversation StudySmarterFig. 2 - The present perfect progressive can be used in both informal and formal situations.

Present Perfect Progressive Examples

Check out a few examples of the present perfect progressive below:

I have been playing basketball for 12 years.

We have been talking about moving in together.

She has been laughing non-stop.

It is worth mentioning that the present perfect progressive can also be used for negations (sentences that express a negative situation). This is done by using the adverb "not." For example:

I have not been ice skating.

They have not been staying at home.

She has not been doing well recently.

It can also be used to ask a question. To do so, the auxiliary verb "have" or "has" is placed at the beginning of the sentence. For example:

Have you been baking this morning?

Have we been friends for 10 years already?

Has he been hiding for all this time?

Present Perfect Progressive Sentences

Check out some more examples of present perfect progressive sentences in the table below:

Present Perfect ProgressiveAs a negated sentence As an interrogative sentence
We have been having fun at the party.We have not been having fun at the party.Have we been having fun at the party?
You have been drinking.You have not been drinking.Have you been drinking?
I have been running every day.I have not been running every day.Have I been running every day?
They have been writing a book.They have not been writing a book.Have you been writing a book?
She has been looking after the baby.She has not been looking after the baby.Has she been looking after the baby?
He has been reading the newspaper.He has not been reading the newspaper.Has he been reading the newspaper?
We have been making music.We have not been making music.Have we been making music?
You have been avoiding me lately.You have not been avoiding me lately.Have you been avoiding me lately?
I have been sleeping well recently.I have not been sleeping well recently.Have I been sleeping well recently?
They have been studying for their exams.They have not been studying for their exams.Have they been studying for their exams?
She has been dyeing her hair.She has not been dyeing her hair.Has she been dyeing her hair?
He has been auditioning for the movie.He has not been auditioning for the movie.Has he been auditioning for the movie?

Present Perfect Progressive vs. Present Perfect

Both the present perfect progressive and present perfect are types of present tense. So what are their differences? Let's take a look at a definition of the present perfect tense:

The present perfect tense is used to talk about a finished action or event that began in the past but has consequences in the present day. It is formed by using have/has + the past participle (verb form typically ending in "ed" or "en").

"She has arrived in Paris, and now she's ready to tour the city."

Here, the present perfect is used to talk about a finished event that is still connected to something happening in the present.

On the other hand, the present perfect progressive is used to talk about an unfinished action that is still occurring in the present moment. It is formed by using have/has + been + the present participle ("ing" form).

Check out some examples of both the present perfect progressive and present perfect:

Present Perfect Progressive TensePresent Perfect Tense
I have been playing the guitar.I have played the guitar.
We have been watching the football.We have watched the football.
She has been cleaning her car.She has cleaned her car.
He has been winning the competition.He has won the competition.
They have been walking for a few hours.They have walked for a few hours.
You have been driving on the wrong side of the road.You have driven on the wrong side of the road.

Present Perfect Progressive - Key takeaways

  • The present perfect progressive tense is used to talk about an unfinished event that began in the past and is continuing in the present moment.
  • The present perfect progressive tense is also known as present perfect continuous.

  • The formula for the present perfect progressive tense is: has/have + been + the present participle.

  • The present perfect progressive can also be used to create negative sentences or ask questions.

  • The present perfect talks about a finished action or event with present-day consequences. It is formed with have/has + the past participle.

Frequently Asked Questions about Present Perfect Progressive

An example of the present perfect progressive is:


"I have been playing tennis since I was 10 years old."

The present progressive is used to talk about an ongoing event that is occurring in the present moment and will continue in the future. For example "I am writing a book."

The present perfect progressive is used to talk about an unfinished event that began in the past and is continuing in the present moment.

The present perfect progressive tense is formed as follows:


has/have + been + the present participle.

You can use the present perfect progressive to talk about something that began in the past and is still continuing in the present moment.

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