TELC UK- School of English in London
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Present perfect simple and continuous

Present Perfect Simple Tense 
Structure: 
SUBJECT+ HAVE or HAS + VERB in past participle (3rd column) or verb+ed
 
Example:
I have worked in this company for 4 years.
She hasn’t seen him for a long time.
They have known each other since they were kids.
 
When do you use present perfect simple tense? 
1. You use this tense for past actions or experiences, when we don’t say when something happened. You often use ever and never to talk about past experiences.
 
Examples: 
I’ve been to France. – here I don’t say when it happened but I know it was in the past.
I went to France in 2017. – here I know when the action happened.
 
Compare: 
He’s never studied English.    vs.   He didn’t study English when he was a kid
They’ve worn a costume.        vs    They wore a costume last Thursday.
We’ve met Tom Jones.           vs.   We met Tom Jones last year.
 
2. We use Present Perfect with time expressions such as: already, yet, just, since, for. 
 
Examples: 
I’ve already called the school.
You’ve just finished writing the essay.
She hasn’t studied English grammar yet.
They’ve been together since 2016.
We’ve known each other for 10 years.
 
Practise with these activities: 

Present Perfect Simple:

Never/Ever: Exercise 1Exercise 2Exercise 3Exercise 4Exercise 5 , Exercise 6Exercise 7

For/ Since: Exercise 1Exercise 2Exercise 3Exercise 4Exercise 5 , Exercise 6Exercise 7

Just/ already/ yet: Exercise 1Exercise 2Exercise 3Exercise 4Exercise 5 , Exercise 6Exercise 7

Present Perfect Continuous:

Exercise 1Exercise 2Exercise 3Exercise 4Exercise 5 , Exercise 6Exercise 7

Present Perfect Continuous Tense 
Structure: 
SUBJECT+ HAVE or HAS + BEENVERB+ing
 
Example:
I have been working in this company for 4 years.
She hasn’t been attending English lessons since January.
They have been renting a flat in London for 3 years.
 
When do you use present perfect continuous tense? 
1. You use this tense for action which started in the past and is still true.
 
Examples: 
I’ve been learning English since I was little. – sentence indicates that I continue to learn English
She’s been working for this company for 10 years. –  sentence indicates that she still works in this company 
Compare:
It’s (It has) been raining since the morning.    vs.  It’s rained. 
First sentence suggests that it’s still raining, second sentence tells us that it rained but we don’t know when
 
He hasn’t been eating since last night.           vs   He hasn’t eaten since last night. 
In here we have examples in both simple and continuous – which meanings are very similar. So, whenever you have an option to choose continuous or simple, try to use continuous as it sounds much better and helps you sound like a true native speaker. 
 
Other examples where the meaning is very similar: 
 
I’ve lived in London for 5 years.                     vs.      I’ve been living in London for 5 years 
She’s been playing games for hours.             vs.      She’s played games for hours.
They haven’t been studying English.              vs.      They haven’t studied English 
 
2. We don’t use Present Perfect Continuous with non action verbs such as: know, like, love, see, have etc
 
Examples: 
I’ve been knowing known him for a long time
We’ve been having had a dog since we were kids. 

 




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