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PERFECT PROGRESSIVE TENSES

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PRESENT PERFECT PROGRESIVE TENSE
[HAS / HAVE] + [BEEN] + [VERB+ing]

EXAMPLES:

I have been waiting here for two hours.

She has only been studying English for two years.

NOTE: When you are using a verb tense with more than one part such as Present Perfect Continuous (has been studying), adverbs often come between the first part and the second part (has only been studying).

 
Duration from the Past Until Now    

We use the Present Perfect Continuous to show that something started in the past and has continued up until now. "For five minutes", "for two weeks", and "since Tuesday" are all durations which can be used with the Present Perfect Continuous.

EXAMPLES:

They have been talking for the last hour.

She has been working at that company for three years.

James has been teaching at the University since June.

Recently, Lately    

You can use the Present Perfect Continuous WITHOUT a duration such as "for five minutes", "for two weeks", and "since Tuesday". Without the durations, the this tense gives a more general meaning of "lately". We often use the words "lately" or "recently" in the sentence to strengthen this meaning.

EXAMPLES:

Recently, I have been feeling really tired.

She has been watching too much television lately.

Mary has been feeling a little depressed.


IMPORTANT

Remember that the Present Perfect Continuous has the meaning of "lately" or "recently." If you use the Present Perfect Continuous in a question such as "Have you been feeling alright?", it suggests that the person looks sick or unhealthy. A question such as "Having you been smoking?" suggests that you can smell the smoke on the person. Using this tense in a question suggests you can see, smell, hear, or feel the results of the action. It is possible to insult someone by using this tense incorrectly.


IMPORTANT Non-Continuous Verbs/ Mixed Verbs

It is important to remember that
Non-Continuous Verbs cannot be used in any continuous tenses. Also, certain non-continuous meanings for Mixed Verbs cannot be used in continuous tenses. To express the idea of Present Perfect Continuous with these exception verbs, you must use Present Perfect.

EXAMPLES:
Sam has been having his car for two years. Not Correct

Sam has had his car for two years. Correct


PAST PERFECT PROGRESSIVE TENSE
[HAD BEEN] + [VERB+ing]


EXAMPLES:

I had been waiting there for two hours before she finally arrived.

She had only been studying English for two years before she got the job.


NOTE: When you are using a verb tense with more than one part such as Past Perfect Continuous (had been studying), adverbs often come between the first part and the second part (had only been studying).

 
Duration Before Something in the Past


We use the Past Perfect Continuous to show that something started in the past and continued up until another time in the past. "For five minutes" and "for two weeks" are both durations which can be used with the Past Perfect Continuous. Notice that this is related to the Present Perfect Continuous; however, the duration does not continue until now.

EXAMPLES:

They had been talking for over an hour before Tony arrived.

She had been working at that company for three years when it went out of business.

James had been teaching at the University for more than a year before he left for Asia.


 
Cause of Something in the Past

Using the Past Perfect Continuous before another action in the past is a good way to show cause and effect.

EXAMPLES:

Jason was tired because he had been jogging.

Sam gained weight because he had been overeating.


IMPORTANT

If you do not include a duration such as "for five minutes," "for two weeks" or "since Friday", many English speakers choose to use the Past Continuous. There is also a difference in meaning. Compare the examples below.


EXAMPLES:

I was reading when my roommate returned.
The reading will be interrupted.

I had been reading for an hour when my roommate returned.
The reading stopped just before my roommate returned.


FUTURE PERFECT PROGRESSIVE TENSE
 
IMPORTANT No Future in Time Clauses

Like all future forms, the Future Perfect Continuous cannot be used in clauses beginning with "when," "while," "before," "after," "by the time," "as soon as," "until," "if" and "unless". In this lesson, all verbs in Time Clauses are italicized.

EXAMPLES:

I won't tell the student the answer until he has been working on the math problem for more than an hour. Correct

I won't tell the student the answer until he will have been working on the math problem for more than an hour. Not Correct



FORM Present Perfect Progressive

[WILL HAVE BEEN] + [VERB+ing]

EXAMPLE:

I will have been waiting for two hours when her plane finally arrives.


[AM / IS / ARE] + [GOING TO HAVE BEEN] + [VERB+ing]

EXAMPLE:

I am going to have been waiting for two hours when her plane finally arrives.

NOTE: It is possible to use either "will" or "going to" to create the Future Perfect Continuous with little or no difference in meaning.

Duration Before Something in the Future

We use the Future Perfect Continuous to show that something will continue up until a particular event or time in the future. "For five minutes," "for two weeks" and "since Friday" are all durations which can be used with the Future Perfect Continuous. Notice that this is related to the Present Perfect Continuous and the Past Perfect Continuous, however the duration stops in the future.

EXAMPLES:

They will have been talking for over an hour by the time Tony arrives.

She is going to have been working at that company for three years when it finally closes.

James will have been teaching at the University for more than a year by the time he leaves for Asia.


Cause of Something in the Future

Using the Future Perfect Continuous before another action in the future is a good way to show cause and effect.

EXAMPLES:

Jason will be tired when he gets home because he will have been jogging for over an hour.

Claudia's English will be perfect when she returns to Germany because she is going to have been studying English in the United States for over two years.


IMPORTANT

If you do not include a duration such as "for five minutes," "for two weeks" or "since Friday", many English speakers choose to use the Future Continuous. There is also a difference in meaning. Compare the examples below.

EXAMPLES:

I will be reading when my roommate returns.
The reading will be interrupted.

I will have been reading for an hour when my roommate returns.
The reading will stop just before my roommate returns.