More on Present perfect vs. present perfect progressive

 

A:

A way to test whether the use of the present perfect progressive is appropriate is to add, mentally, "for xxx," with "xxx" indicating a certain period of time. This period of time ends at the moment of speaking, but the action of the verb could continue into the future.

For example, adding “for three months” to the sentence:

I've read that book.

it doesn't fit. But change the verb to 've been reading and it is correct:

I've been reading that book for three months.

Another question to ask yourself about the present perfect progressive: Is this sentence a present continuous statement, with a time expression added? For example:

I'm reading a book. I started reading it three months ago.

Therefore:

I've been reading the book for three months.

You couldn't say: I've read a book for three months.

These simple questions do not always work—for example, in negative sentences—but they might help you out in your own mind if you've been having trouble getting started.

RSK

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