Present Perfect Continuous
Purpose: The action started in the past and is still ongoing.
The starting point in time is typically given. You’ll often see “for + time” or “since + time.”
- I have been living in Toronto for a year.
- I’ve been having these migraines for two months.
- I’ve been having them since June.
- I’ve been having them on-and-off for months since the accident.
Passive voice: There is NO PASSIVE VOICE for any perfect continuous.
Present perfect vs. present perfect continuous
Compare the sentence pairs below. The first example in each pair is in present perfect and deals with distinct experiences; the second is in present perfect continuous and deals with an action that started in the past and is still ongoing.
1. Present perfect: Have you ever lived in Toronto? Yes, I have lived in Toronto.
Present perfect continuous: I have been living in Toronto for a year.
- Action that started in the past and is still ongoing
2. Over the last few weeks, ever since I had that inspiring dream, I've thought of several solutions to this problem.
Over the last few weeks, ever since we got that lousy new manager, I've been thinking of quitting my job.
3. Since the earthquake, we've had several power outages.
Since the earthquake, we've been having frequent power outages.
4. Over the last few years, I've felt depressed on one occasion: when my dog died.
I've been feeling depressed since my dog died.
5. How are you doing these days?
A1. I've been feeling better.
This means you are really feeling better.
A2. I've felt better.
This means "I am NOT feeling well today."
A3. I've never felt better!
This means "I'm feeling fantastic."