Verbs: Perfect Continuous Aspect - Английский язык с Марией Батхан.

Verbs: Perfect Continuous Aspect

Verbs: Perfect Continuous Aspect


1). We use the present perfect tense to describe:

  1. our experience;
  2. something that started in the past and continues until the present;
  3. something that happened in the past but is important in the present:


His aunt has lived in the USA all her life.

I've played the piano ever since I was five years old.

My mother isn't at home. I guess she has gone shopping.


2). We use the past perfect tense to talk about:

  1. a time up to a certain point in the past;
  2. about past events that did not happen (usually after if, wish and would rather);
  3. to express unrealized hopes and wishes.


She'd published her first novel by the time she was only ten.

When the police arrived, the robbers had escaped.

If only I had seen her yesterday! I would have told her about the following exam.

I had hoped I would finish the task in two days, but the topic was way too complicated.


We can also use the past perfect tense followed by before to show that an action wasn’t done or was incomplete when the past simple action happened.

They left before we 'd spoken to them.

The director died before he'd finished the series.


3). We use the present perfect continuous tense to describe:

  1. unfinished actions which started in the past and continue until the present, when we specify the period of time during which they have been happening (we often use this with for and since);
  2. temporary habits or situations;
  3. actions which have recently stopped and have a result which we can often see, hear, or feel, in the present.


I've been living in this city for two years.

I've been visiting the gym a lot recently.

Mary has been running, so she is really exhausted.


4). We the past perfect continuous tense:

  1. when we want to talk about the duration of a past action, up to a certain point in the past;
  2. when we want to show the cause for an action or situation;
  3. with the third conditional;
  4. with reported (indirect) speech.


I had been tidying my room when my mother called.

He was tired because he had been working hard the day before.

If she hadn’t been wearing usual clothes, she would have taken part in our fancy dress party.

“Have they been practicing all these days?” - She asked if they had been practicing all those days.


5). We use the future perfect continuous tense:

  1. to talk about a continuous action that will have lasted for a period of time at a certain point in the future;
  2. to show our speculations.


I will have been working in this company for ten years next week.

By the time my brother comes, I will have been watching this film for an hour.

I'm sure he'll get a great job – he'll have been working at different internships every year that he's been at university.

You will be tired when you get home – you will have been jogging for over two hours.


6). We can use perfect continuous infinitives with modal verbs.


She should have been driving more carefully.

We will have been living here for more than five years soon.