I heard this in a breezy conversation between an American and a non-native speaker carried on in a third country. The latter said:

  • "You are American! I have been in America, in Texas, I have been working in an IT company".

Is the Present Perfect Continuous pertinent here and correct altogether?

  • 2
    No it's not. You probably do want Present Perfect (I have been in America) rather than Simple Past (I was in America), to reflect the fact that what you're saying about the past is relevant to time of speaking. But just use Simple Past for I worked in an IT company (including Perfect and Continuous forms there just looks like non-mainstream "Indian English"!). Commented Jun 24, 2020 at 14:38
  • @FumbleFingers, thank you. I actually was seesawing between Simple Past and Past Continuous. Does the latter also seem so bad here, on a par with Present Perfect Continuous? I would unambiguously regard Perfect Continuous as ungrammatical and absolutely irrelevant in the case regarded and Past Continuous as "not bad". What do you think?
    – Eugene
    Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 10:37
  • 1
    @Jason Bassford I just can't grip the meaning of "I have been working" in relation to the depicted situation. And, if so, the situation itself doesn't add up for me . I could rather understand something like: "You are American! I have been in America, in Texas, I have been receiving calls in an IT company" (repeated everyday actions, be it a year or ten years ago). Taking all this into account, could you explain to me what tint of the implication the Present Perfect Continuous conveys here being used...
    – Eugene
    Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 13:54
  • 1
    with the verb "work" and what time reference it transmits (the non-native speaker was saying that he had been in Texas and worked a couple of years before). Thanks in advance.
    – Eugene
    Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 13:54
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    @Jason Bassford,that is exactly what I stumbled over.In their conversation he just tried to spur on the interest of his interlocutor (an American girl) in his person by blabbering quite casually about his work in America (that had ceased some years ago).He simply touched the fact of his work in passing.And if the PrPerCont. is possible here, there should be no difference between it and the PastCont. or SimplePast (but there is). At this point the ship of my mind founders)).There must be some thread that will let me come to grips with the operating principle of the PrPerCont in this case.
    – Eugene
    Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 10:44

1 Answer 1


The present perfect continuous (also called present perfect progressive) is a verb tense which is used to show that an action started in the past and has continued up to the present moment Walmart One. The present perfect continuous usually emphasizes duration, or the amount of time that an action has been taking place.

  • A complication here is that if you are not working but are on vacation at a certain time, you can still use "I have been working for ACFG Enterprises for 5 years". 'Work' is polysemous. Commented Aug 11, 2020 at 14:41

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