Present Perfect Tense vs. Present Perfect Continuous Tense

With certain verbs, such as live, work, teach, play, and study, there is little or no difference in meaning between the present perfect and present perfect continuous tense when SINCE and FOR is used.

 

Examples:

• She has lived in Jakarta since 2012.

• She has been living in Jakarta since 2012.

• She has taught English at the same school for nine years.

• She has been teaching English at the same school for nine years.

 

If an action is still going on and we want to express that it is a permanent situation, we would usually use the present perfect tense. For temporary situations, we would prefer the present perfect continuous tense. This is not a rule, however, only a tendency.

 

Examples:

• I’ve worked here for thirty years.

— This is a permanent situation. I’m not going to change/look for another job in another place.

• I usually work in Jakarta but I’ve been working in Bandung for the last 3 weeks.

— This is a temporary situation. I work in Bandung for only a while. When I’m finished with my job there, I’ll return to my post in Jakarta.

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