Rob guides us through some of the most important English tenses.


Language level

Intermediate: B1
Upper intermediate: B2


Hello Kirk ,

I went through the page you recommended me . Yes it was very useful for me to read it but I still have a question / may be a stupid one / about Present Perfect Continious . Well , if the Present Perfect Continious implies an unfinished or temporary action , why in Task 1 the next sentence ' I've lived in Paris since 1999 ' is given as an example for an unfinished action / and they use Present Perfec Simple / ?? I really find this example / and other of that kind / rather confusing to me .

Thank you very much in advance ,

Best regards ,

Hello iliya_b,

The key point here is the last one on that page:

4 Look at these two sentences.

I’ve worked here for thirty years.

I usually work in London but I’ve been working in Birmingham for the last 3 weeks.

We can use the present perfect simple to talk about how long when we view something as permanent. But the present perfect continuous is often used to show that something is temporary.

The sentence 'I've lived in Paris since...' implies that Paris is your permanent home. The sentence 'I've been living in Paris since...' implies that your home is elsewhere, and that Paris is just a temporary place for you to live for a time.

Remember that aspects are complex and carry a range of meanings. Continuous forms can suggest that the action is unfinished, temporary, repeated or interrupted - but the context is key in determining which of these is the real reason for the use of the continuous in any given context.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team


Hello Teachers ,

To my regret I've always had some problems with finding the difference between Present Perfect and Present Perfect Continiuous . Having in mind next two examples from that episode : 1. I've lived in Paris since 1999 and 2. Mamma Mia has been playing at PWT since 2004 , I can't understand why different forms of Perfect tenses are used as in both sentences unfished events are considered ?
Could you explain it for me , please ?

Thank you very much ,

Best regards ,

Hello iliya_b,

I'd recommend you read our Quick Grammar page on the difference between the present perfect simple and continuous forms. Try to explain what the forms in the sentence you ask about could mean. If you're not sure, please tell us what you were thinking in a comment and we'll do our best to help you.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team


i want to know why will is correct not going to in the sentence no-3 0f task 4.
It's too late to phone the tax office now. ______________ do it tomorrow morning
please explain.

Hello archijais,

"I'll" is the best answer for this sentence, since, given the context, it is a decision that is taken at that moment (the word 'now' indicates this). It would be possible to say "I'm going to" if the decision had been earlier, so if that is what you meant in a situation, you could use 'going to'.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

hi guys, i need your help one more time, at (e.g. 3.18) i cann't understand well, i hear rob saying:

i'll know s....a bit confusing and we talk about a lot of different things here. but i think it's useful learness.. you just watch A ..S.. think about why they sayd things and way to do. to make a connection between grammar english you're learning in the classroom morever and way people really speak. is it correct in part? may anyone write again my phrase?
thank you,


Hi There, Rob said :
I know it sounds a bit confusing and we've talked about a lot of different things here. But I think it's useful for learners to just watch Stephen and Ashely and think about Why they say things the way they do ,to make a connection between the English grammar you learn in the classroom or wherever and the way people really speak.
I hope That help you to understand what Rob said.
Best regards

Hi,could anyone tell me about the difference between 'seriousness' and 'earnestness'?Thank you.

Hi paula 12,
When talking about people, the words have a very similar meaning, though 'earnest' (the adjective) is a very formal word.
The key difference between them is that 'earnest' is used only to describe people  and their behaviour and character.  'Serious' can be used that way, but it can also be used to describe many other things: you can have a serious situation, a serious problem and a serious illness, for example.
I hope that answers your question.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team