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present perfect continuous

use it

It is a present perfect tense:
you say that it is not finished, not over yet.
It is also a continuous form:
you say that it is busy, happening.
And this tense combines the two ideas:

click here to see the scheme
with the basic idea of the tenses

In many sentences you can choose
and use the present perfect or the present perfect continuous.

But not always. There may be a difference:

present perfect

Bob has written 2 letters this morning.
(number of letters)

We have seen him twice this month.
(number of times)
She has often visited him lately.

present perfect continuous

She has been writing letters since 9 o'clock.
(still doing so)

I have been waiting all day today.
(still waiting)
She has been playing a game for over an hour.
(still playing)

There may be clues in a sentence that help you to choose.
But it works in 2 steps:
1. there is a clue that says:
   use the perfect tense:
      this week (month...), today
      for years (months, weeks...)
      since Monday (April...)
      already, yet, before

Helen has tried hard this week.
Helen has been trying hard this week.

2. there is a clue that says:
    NOT the continuous form:
      number of things: 2 letters, 4 books...
      number of times: twice, 7 times...
      it is repeated: often, usually, every Friday...

They have booked two city trips this month.
We have visited them every week this month.
She has often used my bike this month.