Differences Between Present Perfect Continuous Tense and Past Perfect Continuous Tense


Present Perfect Continuous Tense is used to express an action which started before now ( or in the past ) and has continued up until now ( or into the present ) . The action may not be finish at that time. This action may still be continuing or may have just finished.

( In such sentenses, Present Perfect Continuous Tense emphasizes the process or the duration of the event or state. The tense connect the past with the present. )


  • She has been cleaning the room since morning.
  • They have been studying for the math exam the whole day.
  • He has been running that company for 10 years..
  • I have been reading this novel for 5 days.
  • We have been talking with Lisa for hours.


Past Perfect Continuous Tense is used to express a past action which started in the past and continued to happen after another action or time in the past. 

( In such sentences, Past Perfect Continuous Tense tell us “how long the action had continued” or ” the duration of the action”  is emphasized more in this tense. Namely, Past Perfect Continuous Tense  tells us that an event happened and continued for a certain period of time in the past, not in the present)


  • Tom had been sitting in the garden for 2 hours when his friends went to the cinema.
  • We had been looking for the wallet for 2 hours when Susan found it.
  • She had been writting reports since morning when the boss came the office.
  • They had been celebrating their wedding anniversary for hours when David arrived.
  • My wife had been cooking the meal since 4 o’clock when my father called us.


Shortly we can say;

The Past Perfect Continuous Tense is used in the same way as the Present Perfect Continuous Tense, but it refers to a time in the past. On the other hand, Present Perfect  Continuous Tense refers to the time in the present ( now ).

6 thoughts on “Differences Between Present Perfect Continuous Tense and Past Perfect Continuous Tense

  • May 20, 2017 at 12:11 pm

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