5. Present Perfect Continuous

5. Present Perfect Continuous

Bill's late for the theatre.

Main Practice: Present Perfect Continuous
Revision:            Present Perfect  -  for ages

Present Perfect Continuous  -  have + been + ing
Focus on the action, i.e.
- I've been baking cakes.

An incomplete action, i.e.
- I've been writing the reports. I've only got three more to do.

Focus on how long, i.e.
- She's been watching TV for an hour.

A temporary situation, i.e.
- He's been working at a clothes shop this summer but now he's going to university.

absolutely  -  a) to emphasise an extreme adjective;   b) a strong ‘yes', i.e. 
a)  The house was absolutely huge.
b)  - Are you going to vote in the election?
     - Absolutely.

for ages  -  a long time, relative to context, i.e.
  • I haven't been to a cinema for ages.  (Could mean a year or more.)
  • I haven't seen John for ages. (Could mean a few months if the speaker used to see John

looking forward to  -  enjoying the thought of something happening in the future, i.e.
- My train arrives at three.
- I'll meet you at the station. I'm so looking forward to seeing you again. 

You poor thing  -  an expression of sympathy (informal), i.e.
- When I got there the shop had closed. Then I had to walk home and it poured with rain.
-  Oh, you poor thing. You're soaking wet. Come on, I'll make you a cup of tea. 

(a) review  -  an opinion in the media about a film, play, book…etc. i.e.
  • We should see it. The movie's got very good reviews

sold out  -  all of that item has been sold, i.e.
- A copy of the Times, please. 
- Sorry, we've sold out. We have all the other newspapers, though.

* stuck  -  (informal)  a) to be trapped somewhere;  b) to not give up with something, i.e.
a) The lift broke down, we were stuck in it for two hours.  
b) He didn't like the biology course but he stuck at it.

Bill and his wife, Samantha, are going to the theatre but Bill got stuck in traffic and is late. 

Complete the sentences. 

Sam:  Where have you been? (wait) for half an hour. 

Bill:    Sorry, (try) to phone you.

Sam:  I forgot my phone, it's at home.

Bill:  Well, sorry, but the traffic was terrible. I was in a
           jam .

Sam: Oh, you poor thing. Well, come on, we've still got time for a drink
           before it starts.

Bill:  Good. I'm seeing this play.

Sam: Me too. It's got great reviews.

Bill:  I was lucky to get tickets, you know, they were almost .


Complete the sentences with the right tenses and the words you've practised above.

Remember: contract pronouns and auxiliary verbs, i.e.
he is  -  he's        I have  -  I've 

1.  - Half a kilo of oranges, please.
     - Sorry, we've . We have apples and bananas, though.

2.  He's tired, (work) in the factory for twelve hours.

3.  She's called to say she'll be late. She's in traffic on the motorway.

4.  Here's our taxi. Great. (look forward to)
     this holiday for ages.

5. The kids (play) in the garden all afternoon.

6. - I'm exhausted, (walk) around town shopping .
    - , come and sit down and relax.