Often there is very little difference between the present perfect simple and the present perfect continuous. In many cases, both are equally acceptable.
- They’ve been working here for a long time but Andy has worked here for even longer.
- I’ve lived here for 10 years and she has been living here for 12 years.
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.
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.
Look at the difference in these examples.
- I’ve been reading this book for two months but I’ve only read half of it. It’s very difficult to read.
- She’s been trying to convince him for 20 minutes but she hasn’t managed to yet.
- They’ve been talking about this for month and they still haven’t found a solution.
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?
When you use the words ‘ever’ or ‘never’, use the simple form.
- I don’t know them. I’ve never met them.
- Have you ever heard anything so strange in your l