present perfect continuous: 12 examples from songs u know

@richyrocksenglish a playlist of songs with present perfect continuous examples in the lyrics. visit for the full list #fyp #english #vocabulary #englishcoach #englishteacher #englishlesson #englishclass #englishpractice #ingles #vocabularioeningles ♬ heat waves – sped up + reverb – sped up + reverb tazzy & sped up songs & Tazzy

in english, the present perfect continuous verb tense consists of the auxiliary verb have/has + the past participle been +the -ing form of another verb. it is used to indicate an action happening from a point in the past until the present that may continue into the future 😵‍💫  as confusing and nonspecific as that sounds, the structure appears in A LOT of songs that u probably know and maybe even love.

for example, in glass animals’ gigantic hit heat waves the chorus says

sometimes, all I think about is ulate nights in the middle of juneheat waves been faking me outcan’t make u happier now

heat waves been faking me out  is a reduction of heat waves have been faking me out. the elimination of have (or the “v” sound in the contractions i’ve, you’ve, we’ve & they’ve) is very common in spoken english, especially in popular music. listen for it in the rest of these songs as well.

fake out means trick, deceive.


rosa linn‘s song snap participated in eurovision and got much more famous on tiktok. listen at 1:13 for this lyric…

since june 22, my heart’s been on fire
i‘ve been spendin‘ my nights in the rain tryna to put it out

i’ve been spending is present perfect continuous. heart’s been on fire is present perfect>>there’s no -ing verb after beentryna is a reduction ot trying toput out is a phrasal verb that means extinguish.



dr. j and kareem stare each other down over the nba finals trophy

nba legends dr. j and kareem abdul jabbar stare each other down over the nba finals trophy

the nba‘s for the 2018 finals used juliet robertsfinally mine as its soundtrack. at :18 the lyrics say

i been searching and wishing and dreaming for so long


present perfect continuous is frequently used with for to refer to duration or length in time. that’s how it’s used above in the nba spot, and at 2:05 in stevie wonder‘s song that girl, listen for

i’ve been hurting for a long time, and you’ve been playing for a long time, u know it’s true

i’ve been holding for a long time, and you’ve been running for a long time, it’s time to do what we have to do

at 3:30 there is another instance of present perfect continuous

she says her love has been crying out but her lover hasn’t heard
but what she doesn’t realize is that i’ve listened to every word

realize in english is usually NOT the same as realizar in spanish. means recognize, notice, become . i’ve listened is another example of present perfect.


in his classic in the air tonight,  phil collins talks about an even longer period of time than the previous two songs (his whole life 🙀). collins’ song  is part of a very memorable scene in the hangover. mike tyson sings these lyrics right after the unmistakable drum solo (tyson’s favorite part) at :15

i can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh lordand i’ve been waiting for this moment, for all my life, oh lord

the end of the vid includes an example of the phrasal verb as part of the explanation phil (bradley cooper) gives as to why he and his friends stole tyson’s tiger.


but for is not always about duration. in the chorus of the rasmus‘ song in the shadows i’ve been living for tomorrows is talking about a purpose or an objective.

i’ve been watching
i’ve been waiting
in the shadows all my time
i’ve been searching
i’ve been living for tomorrows all my life

here are 6 more songs from various genres that contain present perfect continuous.

the chorus of guns n roses‘ song about heroin use, mr. brownstone, says

we’ve been dancin’ with
mr. brownstone
he’s been knockin’
he won’t leave me alone


the 2007 disney movie enchanted opens with the song true love’s kiss.

the chorus appears for the first time at :35 and includes the lyric…

i’ve been dreaming of a true love’s kiss

note that giselle sings dream of NOT dream with, which would be a logical translation from spanish’s soñar con, but is incorrect.


one republic‘s huge hit counting stars has an example of the verb dream too, but with the preposition about (again, NOT with 😎)

lately, i’ve been, i’ve been losing sleep
dreaming about the things we could be
but baby, i’ve been, i’ve been praying hard
said no more counting dollars
we’ll be, we’ll be counting stars

pray means ask a god for help.


dej loaf‘s been on my grind, like one republic’s song, mentions issues with sleeping at 1:00

i ain’t been getting no sleep

ain’t been is an informal way to express present perfect in the negative. it can replace both hasn’t and haven’t.

dej uses present perfect continuous again at :47 when she repeats several times

i been grinding

and at 1:08

mama, i been road runnin

is working hard. according to urban dictionary, road running is making money on the streets– hustling, selling drugs, but in the context of the lyrics it sounds like dej is on tour promoting her music (the next line is i just signed a few deals and the shows coming).

at 1:15 dej raps about the competitive nature of her lifestyle

i can’t let a bitch catch me, fuck a runner up

this gives the idea that she sees herself as winning and she won’t accept second place (runner up).

roadrnner running from coyote

roadrunner ain’t gonna let a bitch catch him. fuck a runner up.


the tyrese song just a baby boy (featuring ) from the (almost) eponymous movie has this line in the chorus that also talks about street life

u just a baby boy
you’re not the real mccoy
i’ve been runnin’ these streets

run in this case means be in control. the real mccoy is an expression that refers to authenticity. you’re not the real mccoy means u are fake, false. in the line u just a baby boy, u is a reduction of you’re.


and the clash track police on my back uses i been runnin in the chant in the chorus to describe an escape from the police… in the talks about staying away from

i’ve been runnin’ monday, tuesday, wednesday
thursday, friday, saturday, sunday

and additionally talks about staying away from the cops (police)  at :20 in the lyrics…

i’ve been hiding

[the tiktok at the top of the post has examples of put together, grasp, even ifand/or, puke, fake out, and there is a tag question.  additionally, watch/listen for i mean which is used to give an explanaiton].

which song is your favorite? which is the most memorable example of present perfect continuous? share your selections under leave a reply


2 Replies to “present perfect continuous: 12 examples from songs u know”

  1. I’ve been waiting for you, all my life for somebody who
    Makes me feel the way I feel when I’m with you, baby

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *