Present perfect tenses

We use the present perfect tenses when an action that started in the past is still relevant or is still happening now (e.g. 'I have been living in Myanmar for three years' or 'I have lived in Myanmar for three years'). The first example uses present perfect continuous [PPC] (S+have+been+verb-ing); the second example uses present perfect simple [PPS] (S+have+verb3). Both of the examples are correct and it is often difficult to know when to use PPC and when to use PPS.

There are some tips that can help you:

  1. We do not usually use PPC with verbs that involve starting or finishing and action (e.g. start, begin, enrol, join, find, end, finalise, finish, stop)

  2. We use the PPC to focus on the activity (e.g. waiting in the picture above) and we use the PPS to focus on the result.

  3. We often use time phrases (e.g. 'for ages', 'over the last few years') with the PPC to stress the length of the activity (e.g. 'for a long time' in the picture above)

  4. We usually use 'just', 'already' and 'yet' with PPS (e.g. 'I haven't read your essay yet', 'the movie has already started')

Okay, enough explanation, time for you to practice. Read the brief article below about climate change in Myanmar and fill the gaps with either PPS or PPC.

The first one has been done for you.


Rising temperatures and increased drought in Myanmar (1) have caused (cause) diminished village water sources across the country. Agricultural yields of peas, sugar cane, tomatoes and rice (2) _____________ (already / decline) and further destruction of cultivation and erosion of soils are expected to continue in the long term. To combat potential climate change problems, the government of Myanmar (3)____________ (expand) its use of renewable energy and (4) _____________ (start) to lower its level of carbon emissions. Myanmar (5) __________ (recently / acquire) funding and proper planning, which is intended to better prepare the country for the impacts of climate change. Over the last few years, farmers (6)________ (learn) new farming methods and the Government (7)________ (just/rebuild) infrastructure with materials resilient to natural disasters.

The country (8)___________ (also / finalise) the Myanmar Climate Change Strategy & Action Plan. Since 2015, the government of Myanmar, (9) ___________ (carry out) programs to provide farmers with the resources, knowledge and tools needed to support good harvests, despite changing weather patterns. In the past, poverty-stricken communities cut down trees for fuels and timber, so now communities (10) _____________ (become) actively involved in establishing and managing forests in order to improve soil conditions, reduce surface runoff, and slow erosion.

When you are ready, enter your answers in the sheet below



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