Results 1 to 4 of 4
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Scotland

    • Join Date: Sep 2011
    • Posts: 1
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    Present perfect vs present perfect continuous

    I was hoping somebody would offer me some advice.

    I am en experienced TEFL teacher, in fact I am even a TEFL trainer for new TEFL teachers.

    The honest truth is that i explain the difference between present perfect and present perfect continuous really badly. I know the difference well enough but I don't seem to get the point over well, I normally end up with some vacant faces!

    Can anybody offer their advice in how they explain the difference well

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,278
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: Present perfect vs present perfect continuous

    Quote Originally Posted by sylviedickson View Post
    I was hoping somebody would offer me some advice.

    I am en experienced TEFL teacher, in fact I am even a TEFL trainer for new TEFL teachers.

    The honest truth is that i explain the difference between present perfect and present perfect continuous really badly. I know the difference well enough but I don't seem to get the point over well, I normally end up with some vacant faces!

    Can anybody offer their advice in how they explain the difference well
    Look at the similar threads at the bottom of the page, you will find quite a lot of discussion about this subject.

  2. M.Andrew's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Saudi Arabia

    • Join Date: Sep 2011
    • Posts: 22
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: Present perfect vs present perfect continuous

    This is really good question that has been answered before with a lot of detail. To provide a real simple but helpful answer, I would offer a few points I use in the classroom:

    1) They are often interchangeable. You can say, "I have been living in Hong Kong for five years," and, "I have lived in Hong Kong for five years." (without intending any difference)

    2) When teaching students the above example, ask them where the speaker lives now, based on the two different sentences, to highlight the subtle differences. Help them recognize that present perfect does not mean that the action is being done right now. The guy saying, "I have lived..." may or may not be living there now. The guy saying, "I have been living..." lives there now for sure.

    3) A real significant difference is the idea of "how many times" vs. "how long."

    Present perfect for how many times: I have eaten at McDonald's three times this week.

    Present perfect continuous for how long: I have been eating at McDonald's for years.

    Hope this helps!

  3. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,135
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: Present perfect vs present perfect continuous

    Quote Originally Posted by sylviedickson View Post
    I know the difference well enough...
    You'll start feeling better if you stop believing that.

    As we progress in our careers, we understand more and more clearly the difference between continuous and non-continuous forms, and we can rattle off the explanations given in course books with no difficulty. However, with the present perfect, while there is sometimes a significant difference in meaning between the continuous and the non-continuous forms, there sometimes isn't. As M.Andrew said, they are sometimes interchangeable.

    Once you can accept this, you'll stop trying to convince your trainees that there is always a significant difference. Then you can all relax, and try to see if there might be some subtle difference.

Similar Threads

  1. SIMPLE PRESENT PERFECT VS. CONTINUOUS PRESENT PERFECT
    By Gingerbrea in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-Aug-2011, 10:11
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 30-Nov-2007, 00:09
  3. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 14-Mar-2007, 16:13
  4. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 20-Oct-2006, 02:32
  5. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 24-Sep-2006, 20:17

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •