present perfect confusion

I have read a grammar book by Raymond Murphy in which following is the explaination

“The continuous (I have been doing) or the simple (I have done) can be used for actions repeated over a long period for example= I have been collecting / I have collected stamps since I was a child”

My question is that:
1.) Can we use “since” without “been”.
2.) Are they both having same meaning. If not then what is the difference.

Kindly explain in more extended way with examples…


Hi Ahmed,

‘Since’ is usually used in a sentence with the verb in the Present Perfect Simple ( I have lived here since 1990) or the Present Perfect Continuous (I have been living here since 1990).

You ask whether they both have the same meaning. The main difference is that the Continuous form usually indicates (in the sentence I have written) that you are going to continue to live there. The Simple form in that sentence just describes the period from 1990 until now.


“I had collected stamps since I was a child”
Could I use the above sentence as past-perfect sentence?


Mr. Alan.

  1. “I had collected stamps since I had been a child”
    2, “I have collected stamps since I have been a child”
  2. “I have collected stamps since I was a child”
    Are all three above sentences grammatically correct?


(1) should be ‘since I was a child.’

(2) should be ‘since I was a child’.

(3) is fine.

In all these examples it is always best to put the sentence in a context because then you can see the tenses in relation to each other.


Hi Alan,

I would like to add something in connection with the The Present Perfect Continuous. Could it also indicate that a certain action is about to stop. I’ll give you an example: Woman to her husband: ‘You have been drinking, I can smell the alcohol on your breath a miles away.’

a mile away, not a miles away.
The sentence is fine otherwise, and indicates that the husband has recently stopped (not is about to stop).

Hi Alexandro,

You are confusing grammar with real life. The fact that the man may stop doesn’t really matter in terms of the use of the tense. The other use of Present perfect in general is that it reflects recent activity.


Thanks Alan and Beeesnees.

Hi teacher Alan,

I am a bit confused with the part in bold. I thought this below

The present perfect continuous describes the period from 1990 to now but also offers a possibility for the action to be continued.
Will it be continued or not, we don’t know. It depends on the context.

Using the present perfect simple we emphasise the result of the action and using the continuous form we describe how the action has been going on till the time of speaking and at the time of speaking.

Please give additional explanation.