Present Perfect vs Present Perfect Continuous

There are similarities and differences between present perfect and present perfect continuous, which might cause confusion. To learn more, click here!

What is Their Main Difference?

The main difference between present perfect and present perfect continuous is that present perfect talks about an action that is completed while present perfect continuous talks about an ongoing action.

Uses and Comparison

1. Finished Actions

We use present perfect tense to talk about our experiences which do not want to specify their time of occurrence. These actions have been completed and we are focusing on the completion of the act. When we want to talk about an action that has recently been in progress but has been interrupted, we use present perfect continuous.

I have watched a movie.

Here, we are referring a finished action.

I have been watching a movie when my sister called.

Here, we are referring to an ongoing action being interrupted by another.

2. Unfinished Actions

Present continuous can be used to refer to actions that started in the past and are still ongoing in the present. The same case happens with present perfect continuous but pay attention that here we are referring to duration of the act. We often use it with for or since.

She has talked for three hours.

Here, we are referring to an unfinished action that started in the past.

She has been talking for three hours.

Here, we are referring to the duration of an ongoing action that has started in the past.

3. Frequent Actions

We use present perfect to talk about actions that tend to repeat themselves and are frequent. These actions can be from the past or the future. By frequent we mean actions that are repeated more than once.

They have fought several times.

Here, we are referring to an action being done frequently by the subject.

They have been fighting several times.

We cannot use this tense to talk about frequently done actions.

4. Temporary Situations

Temporary actions are those types of acts that we are uncertain of their situation's lasting time. When we think that an event or action's state is changing or is about to change, we use present perfect continuous.

He has been walking in the rain, he must be cold.

Here, we are referring to a temporary action.

He has walked in the rain, he must be cold.

Here, we are not referring to a temporary action, therefore it is incorrect.

Structure

Now that we know the differences between the two tenses, we can learn their structure.

1. Present Perfect Tense

In order to create present perfect, we simply add 'have' to the subject followed by the past participle of the main verb.

Subject Have Past Participle
I/You/We/They have talked
He/She/It has gone

2. Present Perfect Continuous Tense

The present perfect continuous is made of present perfect of the verb 'to be' followed by the present participle of the main verb.

Subject present perfect of be present participle
I/You/We/They have been screaming
He/She/It has been eating

Comments

  • linkedin
  • linkedin
  • facebook
  • facebook
  • email

You might also like

Present Simple vs. Present Perfect

There are similarities and differences between present simple and present perfect, which might cause confusion. To learn more, click here!

Present Continuous vs Present Perfect

There are similarities and differences between present continuous and present perfect, which might cause confusion. To learn more, click here!

Present Continuous vs. Going to

There are similarities and differences between present continuous and going to, which might cause confusion. To learn more, click here!

Present Perfect vs. Past Perfect

There are similarities and differences between present perfect and past perfect, which might cause confusion. To learn more, click here!

Present Perfect Continuous vs. Past Perfect Continuous

There are similarities and differences between present perfect continuous and past perfect continuous, which might cause confusion. To learn more, click here!

Past Simple vs. Past Perfect

There are similarities and differences between past simple and past perfect, which might cause confusion. To learn more, click here!