Unit 11. How long have you (been)…?
Study this example situation:
(настоящее совершенное время)
We use the Present Perfect to talk about something that began in the past and still continues now. Compare the Present and the Present Perfect:
- Amy is in hospital.
but She has been in hospital since Monday. (not Amy is in hospital since Monday)
- We know each other very well.
but We have known each other for a long time. (not we know)
- Are you waiting for somebody?
but How long have you been waiting?
- I've been learning English for a long time. (not I am learning)
- Sorry I'm late. Have you been waiting long?
- It's been raining since I got up this morning.
- "How long have you been driving?" "Since I was 17."
The action can be a repeated action:
The Continuous is more usual with how long, since and for (see also Unit 10. Present Perfect Continuous and Simple (I have been doing and I have done) (настоящее совершенное продолженное и настоящее совершенное времена)):
- I've been learning English for a long time. (not usually I've learnt)
- John has been living / has lived in London for a long time.
- How long have you been working / have you worked here?
- John has always lived in London. (not has always been living)
- I've been collecting / I've collected stamps since I was a child.
- How long have you known Jane? (not have you been knowing)
- I've had a pain in my stomach since I got up this morning.
You can normally use either the continuous or simple with live and work:
But we use the Simple with always:
You can use the Continuous or the Simple for actions repeated over a long period:
Some verbs (for example, know/ like/ believe) are not normally used in the Continuous:
We use the Present Perfect Simple in negative sentences like these:
- I haven't seen Tom since Monday. ( = Monday was the last time I saw him)
- Jane hasn't phoned me for two weeks. ( = the last time she phoned was two weeks ago)
See Unit 10. Present Perfect Continuous and Simple (I have been doing and I have done) (настоящее совершенное продолженное и настоящее совершенное времена).
See Unit 12. When…? and How long…? For and since (сравнение Past Simple и Present Perfect).