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Structure: ‘Present perfect 4’

Present perfect simple vs present perfect continuous

Form of present perfect simple and continuous

Present perfect simple form

  • subject + have / has + past participle (+ object, place, time….)
    • I have flown many Boeing planes in my career.

Present perfect continuous form

  • subject + have / has + been + verb-ing (+ object, place, time….)
    • He has been studying for his test all week.

Use of present perfect simple and continuous

The present perfect simple is used to talk about an action (or actions) occurring in an unfinished time period. (See present perfect 1, 2 and 3 for more information)

  • I have flown a lot of planes in my career. (my career is unfinished)
  • I haven’t flown this week. (this week is unfinished)

In contrast to this, the present perfect continuous is used to talk about an action which began in the past and is still continuing, or has only just finished.

  • We have been waiting on the plane to disembark, but the door is still closed. (still continuing)
  • I have been thinking about it and we should reduce the frequency on some of our routes. (only just finished)

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