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Present Perfect vs Present Continuous

Find out the difference between these two tenses.


Present Perfect


One use of the Present Perfect tense is for 'ongoing events'.

I have lived in London for 10 years.

Present Continuous


This is used for events which started in the past and have not finished.

I am living in London.

What's the same?


Both events:

  • started in the past

  • have not finished


What's different?


The difference is when we use each one.


Long-term / short-term


We use usually use the present continuous for short-term events - what you are doing now.

I am wearing a tie.
She is walking to the park.

We use the present perfect for long-term events.

I have worn a tie for about 10 years.
She has walked in the park every day for a few years.

Example - Reading this book

I am reading this book.


Present Continuous because it is something you are doing now. It started in the past and has not finished.





I have read this book for two weeks.


Present Perfect because it is an ongoing action - not something you are doing now.






Present Continuous for ongoing events

I'm living in London.
I've lived in London for 10 years.

These sentences mean the same thing. When do we use one and not the other?


We use the present continuous for when the ongoing event has only happened for a short time.


We use the present perfect when the event is long-term.

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