Understanding Grammar: Present Perfect Continuous
Jack: Hello my name’s Jack
Rich: and I’m Rich and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast
Jack: Where we talk about football and help you with your English.
Rich: We recommend that you listen to this podcast on the Premier Skills English website because that is where we have the transcript, language examples, activities, quizzes and a discussion page to help you understand everything we talk about.
Jack: However, if you’re listening on Apple Podcasts, you can leave answers to our questions in the review section. We do read all the reviews and would love to hear from you.
Rich: We are also looking for more people to interview in our podcasts.
Rich: Don’t forget that we have our football English podcast called This Week that you can listen to at the start of every week. This week’s episode is about Matchweek 22 and a historical moment for Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero.
Jack: Some of the football words and phrases we look at include legend, to overtake and to smash a record.
Rich: It’s on the Premier Skills English homepage, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and lots of other places right now!
Jack: In last week’s podcast, we spoke about nicknames and mascots. I was thinking of a new nickname and mascot for my local football club. It was good to see that many of you agreed with my choices.
Rich: The Ludlow Badgers. Lots of people liked it. Lakerwang from China even wrote a tongue twister in the comment section. I thought we could read it out and our listeners could try to repeat it. Do you want to do the honours, Jack?
Jack: Sure. So this is Lakerwang from China’s tongue twister about pictures of badgers, the animal being put on badges on football shirts. Listen and repeat:
Jack: A club with badgers on the badge, badgers on the badge, badges on the badger.
Rich: It’s quite difficult. One more time, this time a bit faster.
Jack: All right, listen and repeat. A club with badgers on the badge, badgers on the badge, badges on the badger.
Rich: Excellent. I think a badger was a good choice as a mascot. Not so many listeners went with my choice.
Jack: Not many have your special sense of humour, Rich. Who would think that the Chickens is a good nickname?
Rich: I do and actually Hubertoo from Poland agreed with me.
Jack: He was the only one!
Rich: I’m sure there were many more that agreed with me. They just didn’t want to say! Anyway, if you want to go back and complete our lesson on mascots and nickname, and tell us the nickname you would choose for Jack’s local football team, you can write your answers on the Premier Skills English website.
Jack: You need to go to the homepage, click skills, click listen and click podcasts. It’s called Learning Vocabulary: Mascots and Nicknames.
Rich: In this week’s podcast, we’re going to talk about my new dog.
Jack: Ah, yes, your new dog - a Spanish greyhound I believe.
Rich: That’s right. In fact, it’s my first dog. I’ve never had a dog before.
Jack: So, in this week’s roleplay you’re going to find out how life with a dog is going for Rich. We’re also going to focus on grammar.
Rich: We’re going to help you talk about things that happened in the past and continue into the present.
Jack: That sounds like the present perfect or maybe the present perfect continuous to me.
Rich: That’s right. After the roleplay, we’ll look at how we use the present perfect continuous with words like for, since and because.
Jack: And your task this week is to talk about a few different topics and use the present perfect continuous.
Rich: Before all that though, we need to look at last week’s football phrase.
Last week’s Football Phrase
Rich: If you didn’t hear our football phrase last week we’re going to give you one more chance to guess now. We’ll give you the correct answer at the end of the show when we give you a new football phrase.
Jack: Well done if you got it right last week and congratulations to those of you who wrote the correct answer on the Premier Skills English website.
Rich: Alex from Ukraine was the first to get the phrase right last week. Well done, Alex. And well done to Ahmed Adam from Sudan, Rafael Robson from Brazil, Takuya from Japan, Fred Zhong and Lakerwang from China, and Hubertoo from Poland who also got the right answer.
Jack: Remember you can also write your answers in the review section on Apple Podcasts if that’s where you listen to us.
Rich: Let’s hear last week’s phrase one more time. Do you know what the phrase is?
Jack: The phrase was *****-*******. This phrase is used when a team from a lower division beats a team from a higher division in a cup competition. Last week, Wayne Rooney’s Derby County knocked out Premier League Crystal Palace in the FA Cup. It was a *****-*******. Another good example of a *****-******* is when Bradford City from the third division knocked Chelsea out of the cup in 2015.
Rich: We’ll give you the answer at the end of the show and we’ll have a new football phrase for you to guess.
Introduction to Roleplay
Jack: In this week’s roleplay, you are going to hear Rich talking about his new dog.
Rich: While you are listening, we want you to answer a question:
Jack: Why is Rich so tired?
Jack: You look tired, Rich. What’s up?
Rich: It’s the dog. She’s been doing my head in.
Jack: Ahh, yeah I forgot. What’s it called again?
Jack: Oh yeah, named after your favourite footballer - Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp.
Rich: No, not Billy with a ‘y’, Billie with an ‘ie’ like the singer Billie Holiday. She’s a girl.
Jack: How could I forget? You adopted her a few months ago. She was pregnant. Why did you adopt a pregnant dog again?
Rich: I didn’t know she was pregnant. There was some kind of mix-up at the shelter.
Jack: I see, oh dear. Why didn’t you send her back?
Rich: No, I couldn’t have sent her back by then.
Jack: Has she had the puppies?
Rich: Yeah, about a month ago. Twelve of them. They’ve been keeping me busy for a while now.
Jack: Twelve? What have you been doing with twelve puppies in your house?
Rich: I’ve been mainly cleaning. I’ve never worn rubber gloves so much.
Jack: I’m sure they’re quite cute.
Rich: Yeah, they’re yellow with pink flowers on them.
Jack: Not the gloves! The puppies.
Rich: Yes, they are. I’ve been taking them all out on the garden. They’ve been running about all over the place since they started walking. They like playing.
Rich: Better in the garden because they’ve been chewing and scratching and biting all the furniture inside the house.
Jack: That’s not good. And how’s Billie?
Rich: That’s why I’m tired. I haven’t been sleeping for a week or so. She’s been waking me up all the time. She’s driving me round the bend.
Jack: Give her a break! She’s just had twelve puppies. She must be more tired than you.
Rich: I know but she’s been barking every night. She wants to go out or she wants something to eat or she wants to sleep on my bed.
Jack: Have you been feeding her enough? Or maybe you’ve been feeding her too much.
Rich: I don’t know. I’m exhausted. Billie then cleaning and more cleaning and the barking and the yapping then more cleaning. I think I need to go and see the vet.
Jack: You must be tired. I think you need to go and see the doctor - your dog sees the vet.
Rich: Did you get the answer to the question we gave you? Why am I so tired?
Jack: Well, Rich is tired because he hasn’t been sleeping. He hasn’t been sleeping because his dog has been barking every night.
Rich: That’s right. I haven’t been sleeping. I’m sure it will get better. I might have sounded a bit negative in that roleplay but I love her very much and I’m very happy that I adopted her.
Jack: That’s nice. Right, let’s move on to some of the language we used in the roleplay. We said at the start of the show that we’re going to focus on grammar and the present perfect today. Rich hasn’t been sleeping. That’s the present perfect continuous right there.
Rich: We use the present perfect continuous to link something in the past that has been happening over a period of time with the present.
Jack: Rich hasn’t been sleeping. Here we are talking about a situation that started in the past and is still happening now. It’s been happening over a period of time. How long have you not been sleeping?
Rich: About a month now. I’m exhausted. The dog’s been barking every night.
Jack: The dog’s been barking every night. There is the present perfect continuous again. A habitual action that has been happening and is still happening now.
Rich: Not right now.
Jack: No, but she’ll be barking again tonight.
Rich: Probably. Unfortunately, yes.
Jack: So how do we create the present perfect continuous? What is the form? Well, we use the auxillary verbs have been plus a verb in the -ing form.
Rich: So, it’s subject plus have or has plus been plus the verb in the -ing form. I haven’t been sleeping.
Jack: Rich hasn’t been sleeping.
Rich: We can also use the present perfect continuous to talk about situations or activities in the past that have stopped but have a result in the present.
Jack: The furniture in Rich’s house is damaged. Hey, Rich, Why is all your furniture damaged?
Rich: Because the puppies have been chewing and biting it. Thanks for reminding me.
Jack: Here’s another example of the present perfect continuous being used in this way.
Rich: Hey Jack, why are you covered in paint?
Jack: Err … because I’ve been painting.
Rich: Hey Jack, why are you wet?
Jack: Because it’s been raining Einstein.
Rich: It’s not usually necessary to be sarcastic or rude when you’re using the present perfect continuous. Jack’s just being funny.
Jack: That’s right. Notice the contraction and how we pronounce have and has. We say I’ve, you’ve, we’ve, they’ve and he’s or she’s.
Rich: We might not say bi:n either, we say bɪn. So instead of it has bi:n raining we say itz bin raining.
Jack: Listen to these examples and repeat.
Rich: I’ve been playing football.
Jack: She’s been studying all morning.
Rich: The dog’s been barking all night.
Jack: Two words we often use with the present perfect continuous are ‘for’ and ‘since’. Listen to these two examples from the roleplay:
Rich: They’ve been keeping me busy for a while now.
Jack: They’ve been running about all over the place since they started walking.
Rich: We use the present perfect continuous with 'for' or 'since' to be more specific about when we started doing something or for how long we have been doing something.
Jack: We use 'for' when we want to say a period of time. For example, 'ten years', 'six months', or 'five days'.
Rich: We use 'since' when we want to say a specific point in time. For example, 'I was eight', 'last summer', or '2015'.
Jack: Listen to these examples:
Rich: I’ve been living in Spain for over ten years.
Rich: I’ve been living in Spain since 2008.
Jack: We’ve got more examples and activities connected to the present perfect continuous on the website where you can practise the language we’ve been looking at in this podcast.
Rich: In this week’s task, we want to see you using the present perfect continuous in your answers.
Jack: We’re going to give you five topics and you have to choose which ones to talk about and use the present perfect continuous.
Rich: Remember that you use the present perfect continuous for things that you started doing in the past and still do now.
Jack: Here are the topics:
Rich: Topic one: How long have you been living in your current house/city/country? What’s the best thing about it?
Jack: Topic two: How long have you been learning English? What do you find most difficult about it?
Rich: Topic three: Have you been watching any good TV series recently? Tell us about it.
Jack: Topic four: How well has your football team been doing this season? Are you happy with their performances?
Rich: Topic five: What’s been going on in the news in your country? Tell us something other listeners might not know about.
Jack: Those are your five topics. Answer one of them or all five - it’s up to you.
Rich: And don’t forget to reply to other listeners and create little conversations and opportunities to practise your English.
Jack: Ok, it’s time for this week’s football phrase. It’s your turn this week.
Rich: This week’s football phrase is * **** ****. The phrase is used most in the summer and January as that is when transfers can take place. It’s an informal way of saying that a transfer has been completed. It’s usually used by football websites and newspapers - I think they like it as the two words begin with the same letter. The second word is also used in business a lot when two businesses make an agreement. Fernandes has moved to Tottenham from Benfica - it’s * **** ****.
Jack: I’m not sure if it’s tricky or not. We usually see this phrase written down - we don’t say it too often.
Rich: Before we leave you we need to tell you last week’s football phrase. The answer was giant-killing.
Jack: Right, that’s all we have time for this week! Don’t forget to write your answers to our questions and make a guess at our football phrase in the comments below. If you get it right, we’ll announce your name on next week’s show.
: If you have any questions or comments or suggestions for the podcast or anything football or English related, you can leave them on the website in the comments section, on social media - on facebook or twitter, on apple podcasts or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jack: Remember you can also email us if you want to practise your English skills and answer a few questions for a future podcast.
Rich: Bye for now and enjoy your football!