Lesson seventh

Perfect Progressive Tense

The perfect progressive tense describes actions that repeated over a period of time in the past, are continuing in the present, and/or will continue in the future.

The present perfect progressive tense tells you about a continuous action that was initiated in the past and finished at some point in the past; however, the action has some relation to the present time. Use have/has + been + ing.

  • It has been raining, and the street is still wet.
  • I have been running, and I am still tired.
  • She has been practicing the piano, and she is much better now.

The past perfect progressive tense illustrates a continuous action in the past that was completed before another past action. Use had + been + ing.

  • It had been raining, and the street was still wet.
  • I had been running, and I was still tired.
  • She had been practicing the piano, and she had gotten much better.

The future perfect progressive tense indicates a continuous action that will be completed in the future. Use will + have + been + ing.

  • By tonight, it will have been raining several hours, and the street will be very wet.
  • By next summer, I will have been running for almost a year, and I will be fit and healthy.
  • By the time of the concert, she will have been practicing the piano for several months, and she will be much better.

Mari: Hi, I'm Mari. I'm here with my friend Ron. Today, we're talking about food. So Ron, what's your favorite cuisine?

Ron: My favorite cuisine has to be Hawaiian food. I grew up eating Hawaiian food so every special occasion we had Hawaiian food, so now when I eat Hawaiian food, it always brings back good memories.

Mari: What exactly is Hawaiian food?

Ron: Traditional Hawaiian food is usually cooked under the ground in a hole with hot rocks and it cooks for maybe six hours or seven hours and when you take it out, it's very salty because we use a lot of salt and it tastes really good ... usually meat ... usually pork and other vegetables like taro and potato.

Mari: So then what's your favorite Hawaiian dish?

Ron: My favorite Hawaiian dish is called Lao-Lao. It's pork or fish wrapped in leaves and put inside the underground oven and it's very salty and very good.

Mari: So the flavor is just salt?

Ron: The flavor is salt and also the leaf flavor that it's wrapped in.

Mari: What's your favorite dessert or junk food?

Ron: My favorite dessert has to be cake and ice-cream together. I love to eat cake and ice-cream together.

Mari: What's your favorite ice-cream flavor?

Ron: My favorite ice-cream flavor is strawberry, and I like to eat that with chocolate cake.

Mari: Mm, sounds good. Do you like vegetables?

Ron: Not so much. I don't like to eat vegetables but I can eat them if somebody cooks them for me.

Mari: What's your favorite vegetable?

Ron: My favorite vegetable ... I don't have a favorite vegetable but I can eat vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, carrots. Those types of things.

Mari: Do you eat your vegetables raw ... like salad ... or do you prefer them cooked?

Ron: I prefer them cooked.

Mari: Thanks Ron.

Ron: You're welcome.


special occasion

Every special occasion we had Hawaiian food.

A special occasion can be an important event, holiday, or ceremony.  Note the following:

  1. I only wear a suit on special occasions.
  2. My father serves wine only on special occasions.

bring back good memories

It always brings back good memories.

We 'bring back good memories' when we think about good things or happy times from the past.  Note the following:

  1. Pop music from the 80's always brings back good memories.
  2. The phone album brought back good memories.


We put it inside the underground oven.

We use the word 'underground'  to talk about things below the surface of the earth.  Note the following:

  1. We took the underground train.
  2. They are building a new shopping mall underground.


There is the leaf that it's wrapped in.

When we wrap something, we fold paper, cloth, or in this case leaves around it.  Note the following:

  1. We wrapped the baby in a blanket to keep it warm.
  2. The gift was wrapped in gold paper.


I prefer them cooked.

'Prefer' means 'like'.  We often use it to compare two things.  Note the following:

  1. We prefer group work to individual activities.
  2. I prefer to sleep on a futon. Beds tend sometimes hurt my back.