March 9th, 2011 in Improve English
The present perfect and present perfect continuous tenses can both be used to talk about recent actions and situations that have present results. There is an important difference. The present perfect continuous looks at the action as a continuous activity not necessarily finished. The present perfect tense, on the other hand, focuses on the completion of the action.
‘You are all wet?’ ‘Yes, I have been gardening all afternoon.’ (Focus on continuous activity)
I have planted a lot of new rose bushes in the garden. (Focus on the completion or result of an action)
I have been watching the film. (Focus on continuous activity)
I have watched the film. (Focus on completion)
I have been learning my lessons since morning. (Continuous activity)
I have learned all my lessons. (Completed activity)
Temporary and permanent situations
The present perfect is used to talk about permanent or longer-lasting situations. The present perfect progressive, on the other hand, is used to talk about more temporary actions and situations.
I have been living in Mumbai for three months. (Temporary situation that is still going on)
My parents have lived in Bangalore all their lives. (Longer-lasting situation)
He has been standing at the gate since morning. (More natural than ‘He has stood at the gate since morning’)
That castle has stood on the hill for 500 years. (More natural than ‘The castle has been standing on the hill for 500 years’)