Present perfect continuous

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It’s been raining.

Study this example situation:

Is it raining?
No, but the ground is wet.
It’s been raining. (= It has been …)
have/has been + –ing is the present perfect continuous:

We use the present perfect continuous for an activity that has recently stopped or just stopped:

  • Why are you out of breath? Have you been running?
  • Paul is very tired. He’s been working hard.
  • Why are you so tired? What have you been doing?
  • I’ve been talking to Amanda and she agrees with me.
  • Where have you been? I’ve been looking for you.

It’s been raining for two hours.

Study this example situation:

It began raining two hours ago and it is still raining.

How long has it been raining? It’s been raining for two hours. (= It has been …)

We use the present perfect continuous in this way, especially with how long, for … and since … . The activity is still
happening (as in this example) or has just stopped.

  • How long have you been learning English? (= you’re still learning English)
  • Ben is watching TV. He’s been watching TV all day.
  • Where have you been? I’ve been looking for you for the last half hour.
  • Chris hasn’t been feeling well recently

You can use the present perfect continuous for repeated actions:

  • Silvia is a very good tennis player. She’s been playing since she was eight.
  • Every morning they meet in the same cafe. They’ve been going there for years.

Compare I am doing and I have been doing:

  • Don’t disturb me now. I’m working.
  • We need an umbrella. It’s raining.
  • Hurry up! We’re waiting.
  • I’ve been working hard. Now I’m going to have a break.
  • The ground is wet. It’s been raining.
  • We’ve been waiting for an hour.

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