12. Present Perfect, Present Perfect Continuous

12. Present Perfect, Present Perfect Continuous

Bill and Sam discuss Katie's boyfriend problems.

Main practice: Present Perfect - Present Perfect Continuous
Revision:            pretty + adjective  -  suggest + that  -  I must admit  -  I can't help thinking -
                               First Conditional  

One important difference between the two tenses is that while they can essentially mean the same, (I've lived in Spain for five years.   I've been living in Spain for five years.)  the Present Perfect Continuous focuses more the action. For example: She's been working all night suggests more effort and resulting tiredness than She's worked all night. 

(to) beg  -  to humbly ask for something, (for example a street beggar asking for money) 
                       but used informally to mean an intense asking, i.e.

  • James is begging me to go on holiday with him but I can't afford it.
  • The film company are begging me to direct the movie but I'm too busy with other projects.

(to) book  -  to reserve something, a ticket, theatre seats, a hotel room, etc. i.e.
  • We've booked tickets for the concert and two double rooms at a hotel in the city centre.

(to) break up  -  (Phrasal verb) to end a romantic relationship, i.e.
  • Sally broke up with Rick last week. 

I must admit  -  to acknowledge or accept a truth, i.e. 
- You don't like this job, do you?
- Well, I must admit, I am getting very bored with it.

I can't help thinking  -   I might not want to think this, but I do, i.e. 
- It's going to mean a lot of work, and the food will be quite expensive.
- I can't help thinking that you don't really want to get a dog, do you?

possessive  -   trying to dominate or control within a relationship, i.e. 
- John is so possessive, he doesn't let Rachel do anything on her own. She's thinking of  
   breaking up with him because of it. 

play it by ear  -  (Idiom) to make a decision according to what happens in the situation rather
                                 than make a plan before, i.e.
- This is an important meeting. Have you thought about what you want to say?
- No, because I can't predict what the others will say. I'll have to play it by ear

pretty  -  (informal) here it means slightly less than ‘very' and strengthens the adjectives, i.e.
  • The exam was pretty difficult.
  • Rick was pretty upset after Sally broke up with him.
Sam and Bill are discussing their daughter, Katie's, relationship with her boyfriend, Carl, who's being rather possessive.

Completete the sentences.

Sam: Katie says she might break up with Carl. I hope not, I rather like him. And
            together for nearly two years now.

Bill:  Well, he does sound pretty possessive.

Sam:  He loves her. He doesn't want to lose her.

Bill:   I said that to Katie but she says he's too controlling.

Sam: Well, I must admit, here only two days and  her at least ten

Bill:   Yes, and Katie told me her to go back to university today but she
            wants to stay until tomorrow.

Sam:  I know. And me he's unhappy about her going out with her friends  

Bill:   I can't help thinking they need a break from each other. If it continues like this it will
           start to affect Katie's studies.

Sam:  You might be right. Do you think we should speak to her?

Bill:    I've booked a table at the George Hotel restaurant. Let's play it by ear and see what Katie
            says over lunch. 

Sam:  Yes, good idea.


Remember: you can use the Present Perfect Continuous to put more focus on the action.

Complete the sentences with the Present Perfect or Present Perfect Continous.

Recently, there increased interest in the media about robots. For

many years scientists (try) to create a robot that can carry out basic

everyday tasks. Now XF Systems of Barcelona claim they (achieve) this. For

5000 euros the Butler Bot can clean your house, cook your meals, do your shopping, and even

take the dog for a walk. Eduardo Sanhez of XF (tell) us that even though the Butler

Bot on sale for only three weeks they (sell) almost four thousand of the

robots. But there problems. One  Butler Bot smashed a Chinese vase worth 12, 000

euros while cleaning it, another demolished most of the shelves in a supermarket while

shopping, and a third mistook the family dog for an intruder and attacked it.  However, Mr

Sanchez says his company (work) day and night to solve these problems

and he is optimistic that the Butler Bot has a great future and soon every home will have one.