I know that we can use Present continuous with period around now. For example

You are working hard today.

but we can also use Present perfect and Present perfect continuous with period around now. For example

You have been working hard today.

For me it is unclear what is the difference in the meaning between the 1st and the 2nd examples.

  • 1
    We use Present perfect continuous for the most common situation - addressee recently finished or soon will finish working hard. It feels a bit "odd" to use Present continuous unless you place heavy stress on are (indicating some level of "surprise", in earnest or facetiously). Ordinarily you just wouldn't mention someone working hard with no emphasis, like you wouldn't normally say "It's hot" without an exclamation mark! Feb 17, 2023 at 22:24
  • @FumbleFingers thank you
    – user341
    Feb 18, 2023 at 10:05

1 Answer 1


The present perfect is used to describe a time period immediately before the present, possibly (but not necessarily) including the present moment.

  • 1
    ...so we would say "You have been working hard today" towards the end of the working period, or later in the day after the worker has finished. Feb 18, 2023 at 9:43

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