Present Perfect Simple or Present Perfect continuous.
Often there is very little difference between the present perfect simple and the present perfect continuous. In many cases, both are equally acceptable.
Present perfect simple= I’ve learnt ten new Italian verbs = I’ve learnt all ten. (finished, completed) The result is important
Present perfect continuous= I’ve been learning ten new Italian verbs= I may still be learning some of them. (continuing the action).The activity, the action is important
To emphasize the action, we use the continuous form.
We’ve been working really hard for a couple of months.
She’s been having a hard time.
When an action is finished and you can see the results, use the continuous form.
The phone bill is enormous. You’ve been calling your boyfriend in Australia, haven’t you?
You’re red in the face. Have you been running?
The present perfect continuous can be used to emphasise the length of time that has passed.
The present perfect simple is generally neutral:
They’ve been waiting for hours! (This emphasises the length of time).
They’ve waited for hours. (This doesn’t emphasise the length of time).
The present perfect continuous can be used to emphasise that something is temporary:
She’s been running a lot recently. (She doesn’t usually do this).
Usually I study at home, but I’ve been studying in the library for the last week.
To emphasize the result of the action, we use the simple form.
I’ve made fifteen phone calls this morning.
He’s written a very good report.
The present perfect simple is often used when we’re talking about how much or how many. This isn’t possible with the present perfect continuous:
- She’s drunk three cups of coffee this morning.
- She’s drunk at least a litre of coffee today.