Using The Present Perfect Continuous

Using The Present Perfect Continuous
Jan 29, 2015

Are you currently studying English in a
traditional school? If you are, I’m sure you
learning all about grammar, verb tenses, and
all the other ins and outs (technical things)
of the English language. But when it comes
time to use your English in a real
conversational situation, do you feel like you
are communicating in a clear and fluent
Most English learners will say NO to this
question. The problem with many traditional
learning methods is that they focus too
much on the grammatical aspect of the
language (rules, structures, systems), and
are not focusing on how to really use
English in a conversation.
When learning the rules and structural parts
of the language, try to think of how you
would use this in a conversation, what is the
real purpose of this grammar point, as
opposed to, what is the rule and the
structure behind it.
In this article you are going to learn a cool
way to use the present perfect continuous ,
and how you can apply it in a conversation,
improving your English conversation skills
Learn How English Can Connect You to the
What is the Present Perfect Continuous?
The present perfect continuous (PPC) is a
great tool for a fast and generalized
conversation with someone.
When I haven’t seen someone for a long
time, I generally want to know all their news
but in a summarized and quick way. This is
exactly what the PPC does.
STRUCTURE: Subject (I, You, Bob etc..) +
Have/Has (3rd person) + Been + Verb
So when I haven’t seen someone in a while I
would generally say, “Hey, what have you
been doing?”
When I use the PPC in this way, I ‘m asking
the person about all their recent news and
activities. The response to this question
would also be in the PPC, specifying what
recent activities they have done. For
I’ve been working a lot
I’ve been studying
I’ve been traveling
I’ve been feeling a little sick
Without having to say anything else, the
other person will interpret all of these
activities as recent actions. That is why the
PPC is a great conversational tool, and it
makes you a really good communicator
because it’s fast and succinct.
Let’s go through a typical dialogue between
two people who haven’t seen each other in a
long time:
Speaker 1: Hey Bro, long time no see !
Speaker 2: Yeah I know, it’s been ages (a
long time).
Speaker 1: So, what have you been doing?
Speaker 2: Well, I’ve been working a lot and
surfing on the weekends. What about you?
Speaker 1: You know, I’ve been working too.
I’ve also been building a house which has
been affecting my social life a lot. I haven’t
been going out on the weekends because
I’m investing all my money into my house.
Speaker 2: Ahh, I see. So I guess you
haven’t been surfing at all, right?
Speaker 1: No I haven’t , I really want to go
this weekend though.
Speaker 2: You should, the waves have been
pumping (surf terminology for really good
waves). I’m going to go this Saturday
morning, If you’re not too busy I’ll call you
and we can go together.
Speaker 1: Ok great! I’m looking forward to
it (excited about it). See ya later mate
(Australian English) .
Speaker 2: Catch ya later bud!
As you can see in this short dialogue, the
two speakesr were using the PPC to
summarize all their recent activities in a
clear and concise way.

Start to think about what you have been
doing recently and summarize it all using
the Present Perfect continuous. Have you
been studying? Maybe you’ve been going
out and partying a lot, or even play sports or
I’m sure you can summarize whatever
you’ve been doing simply and quickly using
the present perfect continuous.
What Have You Been UP TO?
Often you’ll hear people say:
“What have you been up to?” instead of,
“What have you been doing?”
Have you heard this expression in an English
speaking country before?
UP TO , is just a colloquial way to say DOING
or DO.
You are going to hear this expression in
many other ways than just with the present
perfect continuous. Here are some other
examples to show you how to use the
expression “up to”:
What are you up to? What are you doing?
What did you get up to on the weekend?
What did you do on the weekend?
He’s up to no good! This expression
suggests that the person is doing
something bad or suspicious.
Learning grammar can be troubling for many
language learners. A great way to help learn
when and how to use each verb tense and
grammar point is to remember the situations
in which you use that rule.
Start to think of all these rules as “tools” for
your English. Using the present perfect
continuous is a great example of this,
remembering that it is a tool usually used to
summarize recent activities.

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