Unit 10. Present Perfect Continuous and Simple (I have been doing and I have done)
Study this example situation:
(настоящее совершенное продолженное и настоящее совершенное времена)
Ann's clothes are covered in paint.
She has been painting the ceiling.
Has been painting is the Present Perfect Continuous.
We are interested in the activity. It does not matter whether something has been finished or not. In this example, the activity (painting the ceiling) has not been finished.
The ceiling was white. Now it is blue.
She has painted the ceiling.
Has painted is the Present Perfect Simple.
Here, the important thing is that something has been finished. "Has painted" is a completed action. We are interested in the result of the activity (the painted ceiling), not in the activity itself.
Compare these examples:
We use the continuous to ask or say how long (for an activity that is still happening):
We use the simple to ask or say how much, how many or how many times (completed actions):
There are some verbs (for example, know/ like/ believe) that are normally not used in the continuous:
- I've known about it for a long time. (not I've been knowing)
See Unit 7. Present Perfect (1) (I have done) (настоящее совершенное время 1).
See Unit 8. Present Perfect (2) (I have done) (настоящее совершенное время 2).
See Unit 9. Present Perfect Continuous (I have been doing) (настоящее совершенное продолженное время).
See Unit 11. How long have you (been)…? (настоящее совершенное время).
See Unit 12. When…? and How long…? For and since (сравнение Past Simple и Present Perfect).