Using present perfect continuous tense

The present perfect continuous tense is used to talk about an action that started in the past, has continued up to the present and is still continuing.

Study the following sentences.

  • Jane has been reading for hours.
  • I have been gardening since morning.
  • It has been raining since yesterday.
  • The leaning tower of Pisa has been leaning more and more every year.
  • Scientists have been planning to send man to Mars.

The question form in this tense will be as follows.

  • Has Jane been reading for hours? (NOT Has been Jane reading for hours?)
  • Has the leaning tower of Pisa been leaning more and more every year?


Since the action started in the past and has been continuing ever since, the only point of time that can be mentioned in such a sentence is the time when the action started.

  • He has been working here since 2005.
  • I have been waiting since morning.

We can also mention the period of time during which the action has been going on.

  • He has been working here for 6 years.
  • I have been waiting for 4 hours.

Common mistakes

Incorrect: We have been working all yesterday.
Correct: We worked all yesterday.

Incorrect: It has been raining during the whole of yesterday.
Correct: It rained during the whole of yesterday.