Mark has finished watching TV.

I have been thinking about this question for a while. Isn't the above sentence is in the present perfect continuous tense? I was thinking why "finished watching TV" makes sense. Usually, the present prefect continuous tense has the form, have/has been + ing form.

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    I think you're mistaken in your classification. [Present Perfect Continuous](englishpage.com/verbpage/… is formed using has/have + been + present participle, which in your context would be Mark has been finishing watching TV - not something a native speaker would be likely to say, but there are (somewhat contrived) contexts where that would be the right thing to say. Apr 15, 2021 at 16:18
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    ...it took a while to find a couple of "valid" uses of this construction with the continuous finishing, but here's I had been finishing reading a book and Jane had been finishing reading to the other children. My advice: take note that this construction is possible, but avoid using it yourself. It's ugly, to say the least. Anyway, I can see how you might get confused, and so might others. So it's worth an upvote even if no-one posts a formal "Answer". Apr 15, 2021 at 16:24
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    No: it's not the present perfect continuous. "Has" is the perfect auxiliary, and "finished" is a lexical verb, more precisely a catenative verb that has "watching TV" as its complement. Note that the continuous aspect requires a form of "be" + ing verb.
    – BillJ
    Apr 15, 2021 at 18:05

2 Answers 2


No. This isn't an example of the present perfect continuous.

You could simplify the sentence to help break it down. Let's leave off the "watching TV" part, because I think that's what is confusing you.

Mark has finished [something].

This is the present perfect tense. Has/have + simple past.

"watching TV" is a gerund phrase. It acts as a noun, and is the "something" which Mark has finished. In this case, the gerund phrase is the action which Mark has finished.

Note that "watching" is a gerund here, not the present participle. This can be confusing because in English the gerund and the present participle are the same form.

To make the present perfect continuous, you'd need to say something like "Mark has been watching TV". It wouldn't make much sense to use the word "finished" in the present perfect continuous. "Mark has been finishing watching TV" is a bit too weird and not something an English speaker would say. It doesn't make sense to have been finishing something continuously, not because it's ungrammatical, but because the word "finish" literally means to end something.


Certain verbs in English are followed by gerund nouns or gerund noun phrases as direct objects or complements of the main verb:

They enjoy playing tennis. We love starting early. Others include: like, dislike and the list in the sentence below. I am not providing a complete list here.

The verbs start, finish, begin, commence, stop, and sometimes end are followed by gerunds.

List of verbs followed by gerunds:

verbs that take a gerund

They started talking very softly.

We began studying at noon.

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