There is often very little difference between the present perfect simple and the present perfect continuous. In many cases, both are equally acceptable.

  • I've lived here for 10 years and she has been living here for 12 years.
  • They've been working here for a long time and Andy has worked here for even longer.

When we want to emphasize the action, we use the continuous form.

  • I've been working really hard lately.
  • She's been having a hard time.

When we want to emphasize the result of the action, we use the simple form.

  • I've phoned 32 people today.
  • She's written a 64 page report.

Look at these examples to see the contrast.

  • I've been driving for 5 hours and I've driven 500 miles.
  • She's been speaking on the phone for 20 minutes and she's not managed to convince him yet.
  • We've been talking about this for month and we still haven't found a solution.

If an action is finished and you can see the results, use the continuous form.

  • Your eyes are red. You've been crying.
  • You're out of breath. Have you been running?

If you use the words 'ever' or 'never', use the simple form.

  • I've never met her.
  • Have you ever heard anything so strange in your life?

 

 

 

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