Present Perfect Continuous Usage 4: State started in the past and continues into the present

We use Present Perfect Continuous and Present Perfect when a state/action started in the past and continuous into the present.

Link for the same use in Present Perfect: Present Perfect Usage 1: Actions started in the past and continuing in the present

So, what is the difference between Present Perfect Continuous and Present Perfect, when it comes to states started in the past and continuing in(to) the present?

This time we are going to talk about not actions, but states. These are the components:

1. State started in the past

2. State continues in(to) the present

3. We have indication of duration: for a period of time / since a moment or period of time, or their synonyms, or we can infer the fact of duration from the context.

Stative verbs: Present Perfect Continuous or Present Perfect?

Normally, we don’t use Present Perfect Continuous, or any other tense that belongs to the continuous line of tenses, with stative verbs.

To understand this “normally” part, please see stative verbs that don’t usually go with Present Continuous.

Just a few stative verbs here:

need to research

Also, do not push your social agenda to change what we have believed in since day one (and keep believing now)

Or this classic example with the verb be:

The two largest planets in our solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, are coming closer together than they have been since the Middle Ages (and they keep coming closer today)

The shirt has been for sale since 2011, and it has been a popular item at the museum’s physical and online stores (and it is now)

We have been here for 10 years. (and we keep being here now)

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule too. I clearly explain when we use stative verbs with continuous forms, using present continuous tense as an example. Please, refer to stative verbs that don’t usually go with Present Continuous. However, this lesson gives you a common understanding of the differences between these 2 tenses in terms of using stative verbs with this particular situation:

state, situation, sometimes half-state-half-action started in the past and continues into the present AND we have indication to duration (of such a state) since / for or their synonyms, or we can understand that there is such duration from the context.

Last example of a stative verb used in the Present Perfect Continuous. This is not the original grammar, however, any language is not a static structure, it’s a dynamic, adopting, developing phenomenon that we must accept as well.

” … … there is an option, an alternative after this period, and that was going to be much brighter than the kind that we have been seeing, and that they have been seeing over the last two decades.”

have been seeing

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Jack, I know you have been wanting to see the Lamborghini all morning. We’re going to show it to you in just a second, but first we are going to start with another supercar, the only American-made supercar in existence. I’m joined now by Mark Schienberg, the president of the New York International Auto Show.

have been wanting

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, first of all, I agree, a very different tone. I mean, he said this is a public health emergency, which it is, and we need to treat it like one, which we have been needing to do for some time.

have been needing

Like many other examples on our portal, we took the last 3 from and give our credit to them.

More on Present Perfect Continuous Tense:

Lesson tags: difference between present perfect continuous and present perfect
Back to: Present Perfect Continuous Tense

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