: Business Grammar Builder. : (.. .. )


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Unit 6 past and present 2




 Present Perfect Continuous: form A


 The Present Perfect Continuous is formed with the Present Perfect of be and the -ing form of the verb. Negatives are formed with not.

Ive (havent) been waiting here for more than an hour. Shes (hasnt) been waiting here all morning.


 Questions are formed by inverting the subject and have.

Im sorry Im late. Have you been waiting long?


 Present Perfect Continuous: uses B


 The Present Perfect Continuous describes an action or situation in progress from the past up to the present.

Trade between Slovenia and the Ukraine has been increasing steadily since

1992, when it totalled just US $9 million.


 The Present Perfect Continuous often emphasises the length of time of the action:

Ive been trying to contact her all day.


 The action may be finished or continuing, we only know by the situation: Ive been waiting for an hour! Why are you so late? (the waiting is finished)

Ive been waiting for an hour and he hasnt arrived yet. (I will continue waiting)


 The Present Perfect Continuous can be used for repeated actions:

Ive been phoning her all morning, but she always in a meeting.


 Present Perfect Continuous: time expressions C


 Typical time expression that are used with the Present Perfect Continuous include: all day, for months, for ages, lately, recently, over the last few years, since, for.

Foreign life insurers have been expending their business in Japan by about

15\% annually over the past four years.



Can you took after the office while Im out?

(= take care of)



 Past Simple or Present Perfect? D


 The Past Simple is used to describe actions in a completed time period.

The Present Perfect is used when the time period includes the present. This can be a situation which started in the past and continues to be true in the present, life experience until now, or the present result of a past action.


I lived in Milan many years ago. Ive lived in Milan since 1998.


Ive lived in both Milan and Rome.


Ive spoken to my boss, and hes



(completed: now I live in another place)

(a situation that started in the past and continues in the present: I still live here.)

(life experience: the time when I

lived in these cities is not mentioned and is not important)

(present result of past action)


 The time word for refers to a period of time. It can be used with either tenses:

I lived in Milan for four years when I was at university.

(now I dont live there)

I have lived in Milan for four years. (I still live there)


 The choice of tense often depends on the situation and where our attention is:

Weve won the contract! (recent news: the event is present in my mind)

We won the contract. (telling a story: the event feels distant in my mind)


 Present Simple or Present Perfect? E


 The Present Simple is used in two main ways: facts, and habits or states in the present.

The Present Perfect makes a connection between past and present.

I live in Milan. (a permanent state I always live there)

I have lived in Milan for two years. (I lived there two years ago and still live there now)



Ive looked through my files and I cant find it.

(= examined carefully)

 Present Perfect or Present Perfect Continuous? F


 Often there is very little difference in meaning between the Present Perfect and Present Perfect Continuous.

Ive worked/been working here for three years.


 The choice of tense often depends on where our situation is. We use the

Present Perfect if our attention is on the present result.

Ive written the report. (the finished report is in my mind)


We use the Present Perfect Continuous if our attention is on the action in progress.

Ive been writing the report. (the act of writing in my mind)

In the global economic growth of recent years new companies have been created at an astonishing rate. Companies which have been operating for

many years without franchising are now exploring the possibilities.


 If we give details of how many or how much we do not use a continuous form.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq index has been falling for three weeks, and is now 34\% lower than its March peak. Shares of companies announcing poor results have fallen by a third or half after profit warnings.



Im sorry to take up so much of your time.

(= use an amount of time or space)



Exercise 1 (D)

Underline the correct words.

1 Yesterday I phoned / Ive phoned the bank about my overdraft.

2 I work / have worked here since the end of the last year.

3 Your taxi has just arrived / just arrived.

4 Were enjoying our trip. We have made / made a lot of useful contacts.

5 Ive seen / I saw Hugh Hopper a few days ago he sends his regards.

6 We went / have been to an interesting seminar last week.

7 Today has been / was really busy and its only lunchtime!

8 Today has been / was really busy. Its 7 pm Im going to home.

9 Im afraid Patrizia left / has left the office an hour ago.

10 Im afraid Patrizia isnt here she left / has left the office


Exercise 2 (D, E)

Complete the sentences by putting the verb in brackets into either the Present

Simple, Past Simple or Present Perfect.


1 The company is doing very well. Last year sales .. (go up) by 15\%, and so far this year they .. (go up) another 12\%.

2 We .. (operate) all over Latin America. Recently we .. (set up) branches in

Peru Ecuador.

3 This .. (not look) like the right block. Are you sure we .. (come) to the right address?

4 .. (you / see) my laptop? Im sure I .. (leave) it here earlier.

5 I .. (just / meet) Andrew from Sales. .. (you / know) him?

6 I .. (never / speak) to him, but I .. (speak) to his assistant on the phone yesterday.

7 I .. (work) for WorldCom now I .. ( be) there for more than five years. ..

(you / know) WorldCom?

8 I .. (work) for WorldCom since last year, but now I .. (want) to change jobs.

.. (you / hear) of any vacancies?



The photocopier has broken down again.

(= stopped working)

Exercise 3 (A, B, D)

Complete each mini-dialogue by putting the verbs in brackets into the correct form. One verb will be in the Present Perfect the other in the Present Perfect Continuous. Use contractions where possible.

1 A: Whats the matter? You look worried!

B: Yes? I am. I .. (look at) the contract in detail, and I .. (notice) a lot of potential problems.

A: Oh, such as?

2 A: I .. (phone) Carol all day, but there is no reply.

B: I expect she .. (go) to Head Office. A: Oh, yes, I forgot.

3 A: Tosca is coming to the Opera House. .. (you see) it?

B: No, not yet. Shall we go? I .. (look forward) to it for ages. A: So have I. What about next week?

4 A: How long .. (you produce) cars at this site?

B: About four years. We .. (invest) twenty million dollars in plant and machinery.

A: Oh, and how long will it take to recoup your investment, do you think?


Exercise 4 (D)

Complete this dialogue by putting the verbs in brackets into the correct form of the

Past Simple or Present Perfect. Use contractions where possible.


VICTORIA: Hi, Sue. I (1) .. (not/see) you for ages!

SUE: Hi. No, Im sorry. I (2) .. (not/be) in touch with anyone recently, I (3)

.. (be) really busy.

VICTORIA: Oh, what have you been up to then?

SUE: Well, you know I (4) .. (leave) my job in January so that I (5) .. (can) go freelance as a graphic designer?

VICTORIA: Yes, I remember, you (6) .. (talk) a lot about that last year. Hows it going?

SUE: Well, it (7) .. (be) a really difficult year so far. I (8) .. (never/do)

anything like this before. Its much harder work than I (9) .. (imagine). (10) .. (you/ever/be) self-employed?

VICTORIA: No, never, although I (11) .. (often/think) about it. So, why has it been so difficult?

SUE: Well, at the beginning I (12) .. (have) two or three good clients



You must check in one hour before departure.

(= register, report your arrival)

and, you know, people that I (13) .. (know) for many years, like Tom Pierce. And since then I (14) .. (have) a lot interest from different companies, but none of them (15) .. (become) regular customers.

VICTORIA: What about advertising in the special magazines?

SUE: I (16) .. (already/do) that. I (17) .. (put) an advert on Design

Monthly a couple of months ago, but I (18) .. (not/get) any replies.

VICTORIA: Oh, dear, well, (19) .. (put) up a website with examples of your work?

SUE: Yes, I (20) .. (just/finish) it. Would you mind having a quick look at it and tell me what you think of it?


Exercise 5 (D)

Read the passage about technology stocks. Complete the text by putting the verbs in brackets into the correct form of the Past Simple or Present Perfect.

A rocky road for tech stocks

European investors (1) .. (watch) US stock markets nervously over the last

few months. The problems with US technology and telecoms stocks (2) .. (begin)

last March, and since then share prices at companies like Intel, Apple and Dell (3)

.. (crash). Over the summer all these giants (4) .. (announce) lower than expected profits, and investors fear that demand for PCs in the highly developed US market (5)

.. (peak). Now its the turn of European stocks. On Monday stocks in companies

like Germanys SAP and Finlands Nokia (6).. (fall) sharply. SAP (7) .. (be)

down 3\% in Frankfurt, and Nokia (8) .. (drop) 7\% in Helsinki.

But there was some good news for investors yesterday. Yahoo! (9) .. (release) figures which showed that in the last quarter revenues (10) .. (rise) to

$295 million, up from $115 million a year earlier. Yahoo! Relies on online advertising for most of its income, and this year it (11) .. (gain) significant market share in Europe and (12) .. (manage) to achieve the position of top Web-navigation company.

Analysts believe that the market (13) .. (not/hit) the bottom yet. Earlier this year investors (14) .. (buy) any Internet stocks that were available, creating a stock market bubble. Now its just the opposite. Investors (15) .. (become) so nervous

that they are selling everything, even if the company is sound and the stock looks cheap.



Can I just come in for a moment please?

(= interrupt the discussion)

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