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The Present Perfect Simple compared to the Present Perfect Continuous
Study these examples:
a) She has washed her blouse.(we are not interested in the action of washing but in the finished result : the blouse is clean now.)
She has been washing her blouse. (we are interested in the action, she may or may not have finished, it’s not important)
b)We use the present perfect simple to say how much, how many, how often.
e.g. He has sold five cars so far.
They have gone to
We use the present perfect continuous to say how long.
e.g. He has been selling cars for ten years.
c) The Present Perfect Simple is used for permanent situations.
e.g. John has lived in the same village all his life.
The Present Perfect Continuous is used for more temporary situations.
e.g. Mary has been living with her parents while looking for a flat of her own.
There are certain verbs which are not normally used in any continuous tense:
verbs of perception : smell, taste, hear, see.
verbs expressing liking and disliking : hate, admire, love, enjoy.
verbs related to the process of thinking : believe, forget, imagine, know, realize, think, want, wish etc.
verbs describing appearance : appear, look, like, seem.
verbs referring to possession : belong, contain, have, own, possess.
verbs related to being : be, exist.
Other common verbs not normally used in the continuous form are: mean, interest, involve, surprise.
have can be used in the continuous form when it does not have the meaning of possession.
e.g. Julie has been having a bath for the last ten minutes.
I. Read the following putting the verb in the Present Perfect Simple and Continuous:
1. Susie isn’t in. She (go) to the cinema again although she (be/go) twice already this week.
2. Tom and Luise (not speak) to each other since they quarrelled.
3. How long you (study) English? For five years.
4. He (lose) his wallet. He (look) for it for two hours, but it (not turn) up yet.
5. We (not buy) any new furniture for ten years.
6. She (teach) in the same school since graduation.
7. She (not wear) that dress since she was a girl.
8. The students (write) their essays since 8 o’clock and they are still writing.
9. How many years have you (work) for the company?
10. The kids (play) in the garden for two hours.
II. Look at the text below. Some lines are correct and some contain grammar errors. Identify the mistakes and correct them. Make a for √ the correct lines :
Charles is seventeen.He is a drug dealer. He have been……..1
dealing drugs since he had fourteen. He dropped out ……….2 ..
of school when he was sixteen. He comes from a …… 3 ..
single parent family. He has never knew his father. 4…..
His mother works hard to provide for both he and ..5
his brother, but Charles feels that it is not enough. 6
He didn’t give money to his mother recently 7
as he used to. He was so proud to be able to 8
contribute to the family and buy whatever he needs 9
for his girlfriend and himself. 10
III. Put the verbs in the box into the correct tense and then fill in the gaps :
Joan and Andrew live next to a couple who (1) and (2) two or three times a week for the best part of five years. It sometimes gets so bad that our whole house (3) , pictures ,rattle on the wall, said Joan. She (4) symphatetic chats, face to face confrontation and even recourse to the local social services department and the police when she feared that the child of the family might be a risk.. They (5) worried and infuriated , but (6) an action against them. They (7) with considerable perseverance, regardless of any attempts to arrange things otherwise.
I.1. has gone, has been / gone
2. have not spoken
3. have you been studying
4. has lost, has been looking, hasn’t turned up
5. haven’t bought
6. has been teaching
7. hasn’t worn
8. have been writing
9. have you been working / have worked
10. have been playing
II.1. has been
4. has never known
III.1.have been screaming
2. have been shouting
4. has tried
5. have felt
6. haven’t brought
7. have been quarreling
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