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  • I've been trying to film this video all day but it keeps going wrong

  • What does that mean?

  • Does it mean I've been trying to filmbut now I've given up?

  • Or does it mean that I've now finished filming?

  • Today, we're talking about the present perfect continuous tense, which we use to talk about an activity that is ongoing.

  • But how does it work?

  • The present perfect continuous tense is created using four words in the correct order at the beginning of a sentence.

  • I have been playing the piano all morning

  • First of all, we have the subject, so in this case, "I".

  • Then, we use "have" or "has", depending on the subject

  • Next is the word "been". 

  • This is the part that shows the activity is ongoing and it doesn't change no matter what the subject or the verb is

  • And finally, we have the main verb, with an "-ing" ending

  • I have been playing.

  • And then you can finish off the sentence, including details of the activity and how long it has been going on for, usually by adding the subject and then a time phrase.

  • I have been playing the piano all morning.

  • Here's a pro tip: If you want to sound more likenative speaker, you can get a little bit lazy

  • We'll often use a contraction of the subject and "has" or "have", which means we shorten it to one word.

  • "I have" becomes "I've", "you havebecomes "you've", "they have" becomes "they've".

  • "He has" becomes "he's", and "she hasbecomes "she's".

  • Oh! "Anna has" becomes "Anna's". 

  • Anna's been teaching English all morning.

  • Now, let's talk about those time phrases.

  • What's the difference between the word "for" and the word "since"?

  • This is a very common mistake with non-native English speakers, so let's go through this carefully.

  • The word "for" is used when you are talking about an amount of time.

  • Duration.

  • For example, "She practiced the dance for two hours."

  • Or "I've been at the bus stop for half an hour."

  • The word "since" is used when you want to say the start time.

  • For example, "I've been here since six o'clock." or "I've lived in this house since 2011."

  • If you want to be less specific, you could say "for a while".

  • I've been thinking about it for a while.

  • This usually means "quitelong time", but it's not a specific amount of time.

  • If you want to say you've not been doing something for a long time, but without being too specificyou could say "for a little while".

  • Anna, I'm sorry I'm late. Have you been waiting long?

  • Only a little while.

  • Another time phrase you can use is "all", and then a longer time period.

  • For example, "I've  been here all week." or "I've been trying to call you all month."

  • Again, this comes from native speakers being lazy.

  • It actually means "for all of the".

  • Sorather than saying, "I've been trying to find you for all of the day," a native speaker would simply say, "I've been trying to find you all day."

  • So now, I'm going to say five sentences, leaving a space for the word "for" or "since".  

  • I'll pause for a few seconds between each one to let you think about your answer.

  • Ok, are we ready?

  • Number one: I've been playing tennis ____ last year.

  • And the answer is, "since". I've been  playing tennis since last year

  • Number two: He's been talking about it ___ weeks.

  • And the answer is, "for". He's been talking about it for weeks.

  • Next question.

  • Number three: They've been driving ____ hours.

  • The answer is, "for". They've been driving for hours

  • Question four: I've been dancing _____ I was 6 years old.

  • The answer is, "since". I've been dancing since I was 6 years old

  • And the final question: She's been annoying me ____ all morning.

  • I'm sorry. That was a trick question.

  • We don't use "for" or "since" when we say "all morning", so the full sentence is: She's been annoying me all morning.

  • What was your score out of fiveLet me know in the comments section below.

  • Oh, and I noticed that a lot of you don't have your notifications turned on, so if I do a live lesson, how will you know about it?

  • Guys, turn on your notifications, and don't forget, my regular lessons come out on Mondays and Fridays, so be sure to catch up.

  • Until next time, you could watch one of these lessons. See you soon. Bye.

I've been trying to film this video all day but it keeps going wrong

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A2 UK subject present perfect perfect continuous morning continuous native

Present Perfect Continuous - Basic English Grammar Lesson

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    Elise Chuang posted on 2022/01/19
Video vocabulary