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The Present Perfect Progressive Tense (#4), by Dennis Oliver

 

The Present Perfect Progressive Tense (#4):

Uses (#3)

 

The present perfect progressive tense has several
different uses. One is to show an action that began
in the past and that is still continuing now. When the
present perfect progressive is used in this way, the
length of the continuing activity is emphasized; this
usage also suggests that the action has continued with
no interruption from its beginning until the present.
The "time words" for and since are common with
this use of the present perfect progressive. Another
use of the present perfect progressive (without for,
since, or any other time expression that shows
a specific time or period of time) suggests that an
activity was completed in the very recent past.

Some verbs normally aren't in progressive tenses
because their meanings describe a state, not an
activity. These verbs are normally used in simple
present perfect tense, not present perfect progressive:

appear*
appreciate*
be*
believe
belong
care
contain
cost
doubt
desire
dislike
equal
envy
fear
feel*
forget
  hate
have*
hear
imagine*
include*
know
like
love
matter
mean
mind*
need
owe
own
prefer
possess
  realize
recognize
remember*
resemble
see*
seem
smell*
sound
suppose
surprise
taste*
think*
understand
want
weigh

Example sentences:

not this: I've been appreciating what you did.
but this: I've appreciated what you did.


not this:
That house has been belonging to the
Smith family for six generations.

but this: That house has belonged to the Smith
family for six generations.


not this:
He's been having a headache for five hours.
but this: He's had a headache for five hours.


not this:
They've been owing us money for a long time.
but this: They've owed us money for a long time.


not this:
She's been loving to read since she was a child.
but this: She's loved to read since she was a child.


not this:
They've been understanding the problem
for a long time.

but this: They've understood the problem
for a long time.

___________________________________

 

Special Note:

Some of the above verbs (the ones with *) have
more than one meaning, however, and at least one
of those meanings can be used in continuous tenses,
including the present perfect progressive.

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