Intermediate grammar exercise: present perfect simple or continuous

English grammar practice exercise, intermediate level.

This exercise focuses on the difference between the present perfect simple and present perfect continuous.

Instructions:
Complete the sentences below by putting the verb in brackets into the present perfect simple or present perfect continuous.


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Structure of present perfect simple
positive negative question
I / you / he / she / it / we / they
have gone.
I / you / he / she / it / we / they
haven’t gone.
Have I / you / he / she / it / we / they gone?

Structure of present perfect continuous
positive negative question
I / you / he / she / it / we / they have been working. I / you / he / she / it / we / they haven’t been working. Have I / you / he / she / it / we / they been working?

Present perfect simple – common mistakes
Common mistakes Correct version Why?
Steven has wrote a new book. Steven has written a new book. The past participle of the verb must be used – wrote is past simple, written is the past participle.
Did you have seen him before? Have you seen him before? The helping verb have is used in the present perfect and it is inverted with the person (you have becomes have you).
I didn't have seen him before. I haven't seen him before. The helping verb have is used in the present perfect – to make it negative we simply add not (n't).
I am here since last week. I have been here since last week. The present perfect is used to show an action which continues to the present (an unfinished action).
I've been knowing him for 5 years. I've known him for 5 years. Verbs such as know, want, like, etc. (called stative verbs) suggest permanent states, not actions, so are used in the simple form, NOT the -ing form.

Present perfect continuous – common mistakes
Common mistakes Correct version Why?
It has been rain heavily all day. It has been raining heavily all day. The structure of the present perfect continuous is have/has + been + verb + -ing.
I have sat here for two hours. I have been sitting here for two hours. Verbs such as sit, wait, speak, etc. (‘non-stative’ verbs) suggest continuity and so are mostly used in the continuous (-ing) form.
Which?
I have worked here for five years.
I have been working here for five years.
When BOTH the simple and continuous forms are possible, native speakers prefer to use the continuous.