# Thread: present perfect continuous vs past continuous

1. ## present perfect continuous vs past continuous

Hello,
if it's not too much trouble, could you help me with a little confusion I have in using present perfect continuous and past continuous< please? - maybe a silly question...
I'm quite clear about using the present perfect continuous for actions which are in progress at the time of speaking.

I'm little bit confused about resent actions which have just stopped:
For example, in this sentence:
The ground is wet. It has been raining -
- we are talking about resent past. The rain possibly has just stopped or stopped recently

Why would it be wrong to say:
the ground is wet. it was raining. ?
Is it because when we use past continuous we are referring to a specific time in the past and when we use the present perfect continuous we are talking about unspecified past

or
I was having my lunch when my boss phoned
but I can't say
I have been having my lunch when my boss phoned
is it because the present perfect continuous is used for unspecified period?

Elena

2. ## Re: present perfect continuous vs past continuous

Originally Posted by elenah
Hello,
if it's not too much trouble, could you help me with a little confusion I have in using present perfect continuous and past continuous< please? - maybe a silly question...
I'm quite clear about using the present perfect continuous for actions which are in progress at the time of speaking.

I'm little bit confused about resent actions which have just stopped:
For example, in this sentence:
The ground is wet. It has been raining -
- we are talking about resent past. The rain possibly has just stopped or stopped recently

Why would it be wrong to say:
the ground is wet. it was raining. ? We use the past continuous for an interrupted action in the past. There is no interruption here - the rain has finished, and the ground is wet a result of the rain.
Is it because when we use past continuous we are referring to a specific time in the past and when we use the present perfect continuous we are talking about unspecified past No, we use the present perfect continuous for a specific duration in the past until the present, or without a specific duration, to mean 'lately'

or
I was having my lunch when my boss phoned
but I can't say
I have been having my lunch when my boss phoned
is it because the present perfect continuous is used for unspecified period? No, again we use the present perfect continuous for durations in the past, that last until the present, and the past continuous for interrupted actions in the past.

Elena

I would also suggest looking at the various verb tenses on this page - it does a nice job of explaining the various uses of the different English verb tenses. It also has a very nice graphical representation of verb tenses over time, which can be quite helpful.

3. ## Re: present perfect continuous vs past continuous

Please learn to end your sentences with a punctuation mark, not an emoticon. Emoticons have their place but you have vastly overused them in your post.

4. ## Re: present perfect continuous vs past continuous

elena, for the second time, you don't need to make a new post to say 'thank you'. You clicked on the 'Thank' button and that was all you needed to do.

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