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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #7839: Present perfect
    > Other English exercises on the same topic: | Past [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Past simple or present perfect - Past tenses - Past simple (video) - Modal: may/might - Past simple or continuous - Placement test 1 - Adverbs and past tense - Choosing your past tense...
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    Present perfect


    Present perfect continuous and present perfect


    We use the present perfect continuous to express the idea of an activity (a task, piece of work, etc.) in progress until recently or until the time of speaking:

     => Have you been working in the garden all day? You look exhausted.

    => She's been writing the book since she was in her twenties and at last it's finished.

     Notice that we often use time expressions to say how long the activity has been in progress.We don't use the perfect continuous with verbs such as belong, know, (dis)like, and understand that describe unchanging states:=> Have you known other long? (Not Have you been knowing...)=> I haven't liked cream since I ate too much and was sick, (not I haven't been liking...) When we talk about situations (general characteristics or circumstances) that exist until the present we often use either the present perfect or present perfect continuous:=> Where's Dr Owen's office?' 'Sorry, I don't know. I haven't been working here for long.'(Or I haven't worked here for long. Present perfect continuous emphasises the activity of working; present perfect emphasises the state of having a job)=> We've been looking forward to this holiday for ages. (Or we've looked forward to…. Present perfect continuous emphasises a mental process; present perfect emphasises a mental state. We often use the present perfect or the present perfect continuous to talk about something that has recently finished if we can still see its results. However, we generally use the present perfect continuous with verbs that suggest extended or repeated activity. Compare:

    => He's broken his finger and is in a lot of pain, (not He's been breaking...)

    => He's been playing all afternoon and needs a shower! (More likely than He's played) We use the present perfect continuous rather than the present perfect when we draw a conclusion from what we can see, hear, etc. We often use this form to complain or criticise:=> Who's been messing around with my papers? They're all over the place.=> You've been eating chocolate, haven't you? There's some on your shirt. When we talk about the result of circumstances or an activity, we use the present perfect, rather than the present perfect continuous. When we focus on the process we often use either the present perfect or the present perfect continuous. Compare: => Prices have decreased by 7%. (Not Prices have been decreasing by 7 %.) and=> Prices have been decreasing recently, (or Prices have decreased...)

    => I've used three tins of paint on the kitchen walls, (not I've been using three tins of paint on the kitchen walls.)

    => I've been using a new kind of paint on the kitchen walls, (or I've used...) We use the present perfect continuous to emphasise that an activity is ongoing and repeated, while the present perfect suggests that the activity happened only once or on a specified number of occasions:=> Joseph has been kicking a football against the wall all day. (more likely than ...has kicked...) => He has played for the national team in 65 matches so far. (Not He has been playing for the national team in 65 matches so far.) Compare: => The workers have been calling for the chairman's resignation. (=emphasises a number of times, probably over an extended period)=> Workers have called for management to begin negotiations on pay. (= maybe a number of times or only once.)


    Put the verbs in brackets in the correct form, present perfect continuous or present perfect.








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    English exercise "Present perfect" created by felin with The test builder. [More lessons & exercises from felin]
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    1. The pipe (leak) for a few weeks, so I really should get it fixed.

    2. Check that students (understand) the instructions before they start the exam.

    3. The temperature (already/fall) to minus three in London, and it's likely to get even colder as the day goes on.

    4. I (dislike) travelling by sea ever since a very rough crossing from England to Sweden.

    5. Don's in the garden working on the new greenhouse. He (build) it for most of the summer.

    6. Management (hold) talks with union officials to try to resolve the pay dispute.

    7. The police (close) the road because of bad weather three times this winter already.

    8. You (smoke) again, haven't you? I can smell it on your clothes.

    9. I (enjoy) all of his previous books, so I'm looking forward to reading his new one.

    10. I told you to be careful as you were climbing over the fence. You (rip) your trousers.

    11. I (look for) a pair of earrings just like these for ages.

    12. We (stay) at this hotel a couple of times before.

    13. In recent years, Brazilian companies (put) a lot of money into developing advanced technology.

    14. Mr Goldman (give) nearly a million pounds to the charity this year.

    15. I (read) this book on astrophysics for hours and I'm still only on page 6.

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