We use the Present Perfect Simple and the Present Perfect Continuous to talk about (past) events with a connection to the present.
The main differences are:
- We use the Present Perfect Continuous to emphasise duration instead of the number or quantity:
Mary has played four tennis matches in this tournament.
Mary has been playing tennis for five hours.
2. We use the Present Perfect continuous to indicate that the action is unfinished, while the Present Perfect Simple indicates the action is completed:
I’ve read the book you recommended. (I have finished reading it.)
I have been reading the book you recommended. (I have not finished it yet.)
3. We use the Present Perfect Continuous to emphasise the result of the action performed:
You have cooked all the recipes in the cooking book.
You have been cooking. It smells delicious. (The smell comes from your cooking.)
4. We also use the Present Perfect Continuous to emphasise that the action is temporary:
Peter has lived with his parents since he divorced. (We don’t know how long he’s going to live there)
Peter has been living in London for three months. (Probably he’ll move somewhere else.)
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