Present Perfect Continuous
The main use of the present perfect continuous is to show the duration of an ongoing present action or event (either by showing the timed length of the action or by showing when the action began). It can also be used instead of past tenses, or the present perfect, to emphasise the process of a recent action.
The present perfect continuous can, however, also discuss a process that just finished.
The present perfect continuous would be more appropriate closer to the event – in the above example it would be appropriate in the night, in the following morning or the following day. It would also be appropriate when the effects of the action are noticeable; you could say
- I was running as a general description of a past event,
- but I have been running to explain, for example, why you are tired.
- If in doubt, choose the simplest option.
- It is easier to use the simple tenses more flexibly than the perfect tenses, and it usually sounds clearer.