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I have read that we use "have been" with the present perfect continuous as in the formula [has/have + been + present participle], e.g.,

You have been waiting here for two hours.

But sometimes I read sentences formed as [has/have + been + v3], e.g.,

the forest has been cleared .

I am confused about what the second formula is and in which cases we should use it.

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  • The latter example is incorrect. The forest has been cleared is fine; it is an example of the passive usage. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 3 '15 at 12:24
  • I've corrected the example. – Mohamad Jan 3 '15 at 12:36
  • It's still incorrect. "The forest has been cleared" or "They have been clearing the forest" would both be possible, but "They have been cleared the forest" doesn't make sense. – Jon Hanna Jan 3 '15 at 12:46
  • Related: ell.stackexchange.com/q/39902/3281 – Damkerng T. Mar 4 '15 at 20:08
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Are you asking for the difference between:

"They have been clearing the forest" and: "They have cleared the forest"?

If so, it's fairly simple: the continuous form ('-ing') implies 'continuation' i.e. the activity is still continuing or we simply don't know if the activity has finished yet. 'Have cleared' is clearly past tense. Therefore the activity ended.

Consider:

"They've been cleaning all day" (Have they finished? Don't know) "They cleaned all day" (Have they finished? Yes)

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Present perfect simple or present perfect continuous? We use the present perfect simple, not continuous:

1 if the action is finished and complete. I've written a letter; I've learnt a new piece on the piano. I can play it now.


Present perfect continuous form

I've been learning Russian, but I can't speak it well.


2 if we want to say how often an action has happened. She's broken her leg three times.

3 with state verbs (like, love, know, etc). I've known Joe for years. (NOT I've been knowing Joe for years.)

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