Present Perfect Simple Or Continuous?

Both the present perfect simple and the present perfect continuous connect a past action to the present, but sometimes the emphasis is different.

Present perfect simple
Suggests a completed action and focuses more on results. 
  • 'I’ve completed my English and geography homework, but I haven’t started my maths assignment yet.' 
  • 'She’s travelled to many countries, but she’s never been outside Europe.' 
  • 'Have you ever tried Japanese food?' 'No, never. What’s it like?'
Note that the present perfect is often used with adverbs such as: 'ever', 'never', 'already', 'just', ''still', 'yet'.
  • 'Do you want me to clean the kitchen this afternoon?' 'No thanks, I’ve already done it.' 
  • 'I’ve just fed the baby but she seems to be hungry again.'

Present perfect continuous 
Suggests the activity is not yet completed, can emphasise the duration or the continuous nature of the activity. The present perfect continuous is often used with for or since phrases.
  • 'How long have you been waiting for this bus?' 'I’ve been standing here for over half an hour. These buses never come.' 
  • 'I’ve been looking for a summer holiday job for two weeks now, but I still haven’t found one.' 
  • 'We’ve been living here in Brighton since 1988 – the year we got married.'

Present perfect simple vs continuous
Consider the contrasts. 
  • 'Dick Francis has been writing novels since 1957. In fifty or more years, he has written over 30 best sellers.'
  • 'I’ve read five chapters of this book this afternoon. (And I think that’s quite a success).' 
  • 'I’ve been reading this book all afternoon. (And I still haven’t finished it.)' 
  • 'Who’s eaten my chocolates? There are none left.' 
  • 'Who’s been eating my chocolates? There are only a few left.

present perfect vs past verb forms 
A moment in the past or a period of time?
  • 'I first went to the States in 1995. That was where I met Peter. So we’ve known each other for six years and we’ve been married now for three years.'
  • 'That man has been standing outside our house since early morning. He arrived at eight o’ clock and hasn’t moved all day.'
  • 'When I woke up the sun was shining, but it’s been raining steadily since eleven o’ clock and it’s now half past three.'