Verbs - Present Perfect Continuous

We use present perfect continuous for:-
  • Actions that started in the past and are still going on. The emphasis is on how long an action lasted e.g. I have been painting this room for a week and I still haven’t finished yet.
  • Actions that happened over a long period of time and have stopped but have present results e.g. The workers have been working extremely hard to meet the Christmas deadlines but they have stopped for a week.
Time expressions: for, since, all day/morning/year, for ages/a long time/many years.

POSITIVE SENTENCES (have ('ve) / has ('s) been + ing)
I/You/We/They have been sleeping all day.
He/She/It has been sleeping all day.


I have been looking for my glasses all day and I still haven’t found them.
The catering company has been making tea for delegates since the conference started this morning.
We have been picking apples off trees on this farm for many years.
Ever since he stared going out with Maggie he has been paying for everything.

NEGATIVE SENTENCES (have not (haven’t) / has not (hasn’t) been + ing)
I/You/We/They haven’t been sleeping all day.
He/She/It hasn’t been sleeping all day.


We haven’t been keeping any rabbits because we don’t have time to look after them.
Due to government restrictions, the hunters haven’t been hunting deer this season.
His health hasn’t been improving despite all the medication he has been given.
Our paediatrician told us she hasn’t been growing at all.

QUESTIONS
Have I/you/we/they been sleeping all day?
Has he/she/it been sleeping all day?


Has she been counting stock all morning?
Has Robert been coughing this week or is he feeling better?
Have the prisoners been crawling through that tunnel for a long time?
Have the players been crying since their football team lost the match?
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