There is often very little difference between the
present perfect simple and the present perfect continuous. In many
cases, both are equally acceptable.
- I've lived here for 10 years and she has been living here for 12 years.
- They've been working here for a long time and Andy has worked here for even longer.
When we want to emphasize the action, we use the continuous form.
- I've been working really hard lately.
- She's been having a hard time.
When we want to emphasize the result of the action, we use the simple form.
- I've phoned 32 people today.
- She's written a 64 page report.
Look at these examples to see the contrast.
- I've been driving for 5 hours and I've driven 500 miles.
- She's been speaking on the phone for 20 minutes and she's not managed to convince him yet.
- We've been talking about this for month and we still haven't found a solution.
If an action is finished and you can see the results, use the continuous form.
- Your eyes are red. You've been crying.
- You're out of breath. Have you been running?
If you use the words 'ever' or 'never', use the simple form.
- I've never met her.
- Have you ever heard anything so strange in your life?