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Unit 11. How long have you (been)…?
(настоящее совершенное время)

Study this example situation:
 
Unit 11. How long have you (been)…? Bob and Alice are married. They got married exactly 20
years ago, so today is their 20th wedding anniversary.
 
They have been married for 20 years.
 
We say:
 
but
 
 
 
They are married. (Present)
How long have they been married? (Present Perfect)
(not How long are they married?)
They have been married for 20 years.
(not They are married for 20 years)

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: I have been doing something (Present Perfect Continuous) = "I started doing something in the past and I am still doing it (or have just stopped)": I have done (Simple) or I have been doing (Continuous)
 
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)): For a list of these verbs, see Unit 4. Present Continuous and Present Simple (2) (I am doing and I do) (настоящее продолженное и простое настоящее времена 2). For have see Unit 17. Have and have got (использование have и have got).
 
We use the Present Perfect Simple in negative sentences like these: See Unit 9. Present Perfect Continuous (I have been doing) (настоящее совершенное продолженное время).
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).
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