October 2


EP17: Present Perfect Continuous (2)


Hello hello, fellow learners of English, how are you doing out there? This is Kristian here, nice to be with you again, and welcome to the Learners of English Podcast, episode number 17.

You are listening to this podcast because you want to improve your English, so you can fulfil your dreams in life. I just want to say it’s an honor for me to help you become better at speaking English. If you have a request for this podcast, don’t hesitate to email me at kristian@learnersofenglish.com.

Today we continue with the present perfect continuous. Before we begin, let me just remind you that you can find the transcript of this episode on my website learnersofenglish.com.

All right, let’s crack on.

In episode 16 we spoke about the difference between the process and result.

I have read two books and now I’m much wiser. (finished)

I have been reading two books, one in English and one in Czech. (still reading)

Another way to think about the difference between PPC and PPS is how long vs how much.

It’s very common to use PPC to describe how long for a present action.

I’m working on a new podcast episode about articles. I’ve been working on it for a few days.

We might use PPS for How many times or how much:

● How many episodes of the podcast have you made?

● How much time have you spent on it so far?

● How long have you been working on it?

This is a perfect opportunity to practice English with somebody else. Ask your English learning partner (or yourself) about something he/she is working on at the moment. Show your interest and keep the conversation going with some more questions.

Are you working on anything at the moment? I’m working on a podcast (I’ve been working on episode number 17).

How long have you been doing that? I’ve been doing that for two days.

How much/many … have you done? I’ve written the whole transcript, so 80 percent of all the work has been done.

How is it going? It’s going well, but I still need to record it.

Now it’s over to you. You can stop the podcast to practice this conversation if you want.

You can also continue to listen to the rest of this episode, but I have to warn you: the next part is about a new point, so I’d suggest to pause the podcast for a moment to start practicing the PPS and PPC with how long, how much and how many questions.

All right, we now know about the difference between process and result, the difference between how long and how many, how much.

It’s time to highlight the third point about the PPC:

State verbs vs Action verbs

We don’t use state verbs in continuous forms. But, what are state verbs?

Action verbs describe an action. You can probably mime, show, demonstrate that action. State verbs describe, well, a state rather than an action.

For example, We say “I love you” not “ I am loving you”

and we say “I believe in you” not “ I’m believing in you ”,

and “I disagree with you” not “I’m disagreeing with you”.

How do you know if it’s a state verb or an action verb?

There are many lists withs state verbs available on the internet, but basically, I often tell my students that if they can’t physically demonstrate how to do the verb, it’s probably a state verb.

Think about it.

How do mime (show, demonstrate) the verb to eat? It’s easy, right? That’s because it’s an action verb.

But how do you mime know. It’s much more difficult. You’ll probably tap your head or something, but it’s not very clear. This is because know is a state verb.

So, I have known you for 20 years. Not ̶I̶’̶v̶e̶ ̶b̶e̶e̶n̶ ̶k̶n̶o̶w̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶2̶0̶ ̶y̶e̶a̶r̶s̶. OK?

Remember that sometimes verbs have more than one meaning, and perhaps only one meaning of these verbs is stative. For example, have is a state verb but only when it’s used to talk about possession. Sometimes have means other things (like have breakfast in which case it means to eat). So only possessive have is a state verb. (another example is think)

That’s it for today. Now it’s time for you to start practicing. You can use my examples to write down your own examples.

Remember, we don’t just listen to podcasts here, we take action. Only if you take action you’ll become a successful learner of English, and you can achieve your life goals and fulfil your dreams.

All right, let me know your thoughts on this episode in the comments or via email.

Take care of yourself, and each other and I’ll catch you in the next episode.

P.S. Starte verbs:

● adore

● agree

● appear (seem)

● appreciate

● be (exist)

● believe

● belong to

● consist of

● contain

● deny

● depend on

● deserve

● detest

● disagree

● dislike

● doubt

● equal

● hate

● have


● hear

● include

● involve

● know

● like

● loathe

● love

● matter

● mean

● mind

● need

● owe

● own

● possess

● promise

● recognize

● remember

● resemble

● seem

● smell

● sound

● suppose

● think (opinion)

● understand

● want

About the author 


Kristian is a Dutch guy who teaches English online. He relaxes with audiobooks, music and podcasts. Kristian still has a lot to learn, but he's happy to share what he has learnt along the way.

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