ADVANCED GRAMMAR

perfect tenses (page 1)


 

PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE vs PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS

The present perfect tense uses have or has as an auxiliary or first verb. With the present perfect continuous, the last verb ends in -ing.

PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE
have studied
have played
has eaten
has dreamt

PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS
have been studying
have been playing
has been eating
has been dreaming

What is the difference in meaning between the two tenses?
They are very close and can often be used interchangeably.

PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE
It usually refers to a completed action.
The emphasis is on the achievement or result.

PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS
The action is either still continuing or is very recently completed.
The emphasis is on the duration of the act.

(1) He has been writing books since 1970. (emphasis on duration - since 1970)
(2) He has written ten best sellers. (emphasis on result - ten best sellers)

(1) I have been driving all day. (emphasis on duration - all day)
(2) I have driven 600 kilometres. (emphasis on result - 600 kilometres)

 

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