If you can't remember how to make the present perfect simple and continuous, look at the pages for present perfect simple and present perfect continuous first. After this lesson, test yourself here on the present perfect simple and continuous.

Present perfect simple and continuous (with a present result)

I've broken my leg.We use the present perfect when something happened in the past, and has a result now - especially a result you can see.

I've broken my leg.

(present perfect: result now - my leg is still broken)

broke my arm three years ago.

(past simple: the result is finished - my arm is better now).

 

Present Perfect Simple or Continuous?

The present perfect simple is used for the result of short, single, finished actions, and when we say how many.

The present perfect continuous is used with longer, repeated or unfinished activities which have a present result.

I've written 5 letters today.

(simple: finished, we say how many/much)

I've been writing letters all morning.

(continuous: repeated, emphasis on how long)

What have you done?!!! Have you broken my phone again?

(simple: I'm interested in the finished result!)

The room's a mess! What have you been doing?

(continuous: I know the result, I want to know the longer activity)


When you are ready, test yourself here on using the present perfect simple and continuous.