Britlish

Present Perfect Continuous - GA9

Aspect and Tenses Course Grammar

Grammar

These Activities focus on the grammar of English. English grammar compared to other grammars is quite simple, but in its simplicity lies its complexity. The Activities here cover all aspects of English grammar from the aspects and tenses to sentence structures. English grammar covers the structure of words, phrases, clauses, sentences, and entire texts. There are eight parts of speech in English: nouns, determiners, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, and conjunctions. The largest of these parts of speech are the nouns which, unlike most European languages, do not have grammatical gender. English grammar has largely done away with the inflectional case system of other European languages and bases its grammar on analytic constructions. The Activities in this category will go some way to helping you get a better understanding of English grammar.    

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The perfect aspect of the present tense is marked by the auxiliary verb have plus the past participle. Remember that the tenses are shown by the auxiliary verbs, be, do, and have. If we have the present tense of have followed by a past participle, we have present perfect. So, if have plus a past participle gives us the perfect aspect, and be +ing gives us the continuous aspect, then together we should get the perfect continuous aspect. Well, it’s easy enough to name the aspects and the tenses, but you may be wondering how, when, and where we should use the perfect continuous aspect. In this Grammar Activation Pack we will look at the present tense, perfect continuous aspect. The very name of the structure tells us a lot about it. The present tense tells us there is a connection with the present, that is, now. The perfect aspect uses the past participle which shows a connection to the past. The continuous aspect talks about something happening over a period of time; in this case from a time in the past to the present. This British English grammar is essential for all students of English and the many exercises in the pack will help you master it quickly and enjoyably.    

Aspect and Tenses Course

Present Perfect Continuous

Grammar Activation Pack 9

Continuous Aspect

Just to recap from earlier Grammar Activation Packs, the continuous aspect of the present and past tense is marked by the auxiliary verb be plus the ing form of the verb.

If you see the verb be followed by an ing form, it’s the continuous aspect.

Verb to be plus ing! is really all you need to know to identify the continuous aspect.

Perfect Aspect

I’ll remind you also that perfect means finished or complete. Indeed, it is sometimes called the complete aspect, though this can be misleading, particularly with the present perfect continuous where we talk about things that are not complete.

The perfect aspect of the present tense is marked by the auxiliary verb have plus the past participle.

Remember that the tenses are shown by the auxiliary verbs, be, do, and have.

If we have the present tense of have followed by a past participle, we have present perfect.

Perfect Continuous Aspect

So, if have plus a past participle gives us the perfect aspect, and be +ing gives us the continuous aspect, then together we should get the perfect continuous aspect.

I have been creating two to three Grammar Activation Packs every week since January.

That’s easy enough, isn’t it?

Well, it’s easy enough to name the aspects and the tenses, but you may be wondering how, when, and where we should use the perfect continuous aspect.

Present Perfect Continuous

In this Grammar Activation Pack we will look at the present tense, perfect continuous aspect.

The very name of the structure tells us a lot about it.

The present tense tells us there is a connection with the present, that is, now.

The perfect aspect uses the past participle which shows a connection to the past.

The continuous aspect talks about something happening over a period of time; in this case from a time in the past to the present.

Continuation to Present

I have been writing this Grammar Activation Pack since yesterday.

An unfinished action still in progress.

I have been making English Activation Packs for many months.

Repeated continuous actions still in progress.

Hundreds of students have been using my English Activation Packs since I started making them.

Repeated continuous actions still in progress.

Here I am talking about ongoing things which started in the past, continue into the present, and probably into the future, too.

Closed Questions

Closed questions get a yes or no response.

Have I been doing it?

Have we been doing it?

Have you been doing it?

Have they been doing it?

Has he been doing it?

Has she been doing it?

Has it been doing it?

Positive Statements

I have been doing it.

We have been doing it.

You have been doing it.

They have been doing it.

He has been doing it.

She has been doing it.

It has been doing it.

Positive Statements with Just

We can use the time marker, just, with positive statements.

I have just been doing it.

We have just been doing it.

You have just been doing it.

They have just been doing it.

He has just been doing it.

She has just been doing it.

It has just been doing it.

Negative Statements

I have not been doing it.

We have not been doing it.

You have not been doing it.

They have not been doing it.

He has not been doing it.

She has not been doing it.

It has not been doing it.

Open Questions

Open questions get more information than closed questions.

Why have I been doing it?

Where have we been doing it?

When have you been doing it?

What have they been doing?

Who has been doing it?

How has she been doing it?

How has it been doing it?

Rhetorical Questions

Rhetorical questions are questions that have an obvious answer and are used to draw attention to something or express frustration, anger, or other emotions.

We begin these yes/no rhetorical questions with the contracted form of have not.

Haven’t I been doing it?

Hasn’t she just been doing it?

These questions suggest you expect a yes response and express frustration.

Questions About Time

Closed questions get a yes or no answer.

Open questions get more detailed answers to 5WH questions.

Sometimes we want to find out the duration of a particular action from the past to the present.

We get this information by asking a present perfect continuous question starting with how long.

How long have you been teaching English?

I have been teaching English for many years.

I have been teaching English since 2003.

For

For is used with the present perfect continuous to introduce a period of time.

How long have you been living in Spain (for)?

We don’t have to use for at the end of a spoken question.

I have been living in Spain for 16 years.

Since

Since is used with the present perfect continuous to show a continuation from a point in time to the present.

How long have you been living in Spain?

I have been living in Spain since 2003.

Since is not used in open questions.

Finished or Not?

Present perfect continuous is used when a continuous action that affects the present has not finished or has only just finished.

I have been teaching English for many years

I am still teaching English.

The fact that a continuous action has finished is normally indicated by the context.

You look tired!

Yes, I have been teaching for the last eight hours.

The context, my visible tiredness, the effect of the continuous action on the present, says that I have only just finished teaching.

Temporary Situations

I have been teaching a lot more students than usual lately.

This is a temporary situation, ongoing but likely to finish sooner rather than later, and it uses the word lately.

We could also say recently or in the past few weeks, or similar expressions.

Many more students have been taking out memberships at Britlish recently.

I have been helping many more students in the past couple of months since I started making my English Activation Packs.

Aspect and Tenses

A comprehensive English course covering the tenses and aspects of English in an easy-to-understand format with lots of self-test exercises to check your understanding. You will learn all you need to know about the 3 Key Verbs of English: Be, Do, Have. This course will let you see just how simple English grammar is. We will explore the present simple, the past simple, the present continuous, the post continuous, the present perfect and the present perfect past and present, along with present perfect time markers, the present perfect continuous, the past perfect and the past perfect continuous.

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Present Perfect Past - Present - GA7

We can talk about finished actions using both the present perfect and the past simple. It’s logical that anything which is finished must be in the past. What the present perfect does that the past simple cannot do is to form a connection between the past finished action and the present. We can only use a finished time expression like last week with the past simple. In this Grammar Activation Pack, I want to focus on how the present perfect connects events in the past with the present. As I said, logically anything that is finished must have happened in the past. The present perfect uses the present tense of the finite verb have, which as you know is have or has, and the past participle of a non-finite verb. It is this combination of the present and the past that gives us our biggest clue as to how the perfect aspect and the present tense work together. This British English grammar is essential for all students of English and the many exercises in the pack will help you master it quickly and enjoyably.

Categories: Grammar


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Present Perfect Time Markers - GA8

English uses time markers to accurately say when something happened or happens. Yesterday, last week, last month, last year, and many more expressions tell us the when of an action. We cannot use the above finished time markers with the present perfect because they show finished periods of time. We use these time markers with the past simple. We cannot use finished time markers like yesterday, and last year with the present perfect, but there are 4 time markers that we can use. Allow me to explain how we can use these time markers with the present perfect. This British English grammar is essential for all students of English and the many exercises in the pack will help you master it quickly and enjoyably.    

Categories: Grammar


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