Lesson 65 – The Mechanic – Present perfect continuous




IN YOUR LANGUAGE (Top right > Select language > Click on the flags).




  • With the help of her friend
  • Passed her driving test
  • She has been enjoying
  • Having a car
  • She does not have to
  • Public transport
  • She has been able to
  • Has made her feel
  • Have helped her relax
  • Her car has broken down
  • Can be quite expensive
  • To take this opportunity
  • The ins and outs
  • She bought the manual
  • Is compatible with
  • Has been reading up on
  • She has recharged the battery
  • Checked the oil
  • Has replaced the spark plugs
  • The car won’t start
  • Resigns herself to the fact
  • How to fix her car
  • Acknowledging defeat
  • She has extensive knowledge of
  • She has never bothered to
  • Tyre pressure
  • She recognises the problem
  • It has been coming loose
  • Let me show you
  • In the manual
  • Everything else
  • How silly!
  • It’s easy to forget.
  • The wire is exposed
  • Screw it back in
  • You can have it
  • We’ll replace the whole thing
  • I’ll talk you through it
  • To apply your knowledge
  • She can’t be bothered
  • Like I’m speaking another language
  • Everyone has their blind spots
  • I just phase out
  • I’ve always been more practical
  • I work in construction
  • Let’s get this car back on the road!




-The mechanic-




Lesson 65 - The Mechanic

With the help of her friend, Lucy, Paula passed her driving test and has been enjoying the freedom afforded to her by having a car. Now that she does not have to walk to work or wait for public transport she has been able to spend an extra half an hour in bed in the morning. This treat has made her feel vitalised and drives out into the country have helped her relax. It has all been wonderful. However, her car has broken down.

Taking it to a garage can be quite expensive so Paula decides to take this opportunity to learn the ins and outs of a motor engine. She bought the manual that is compatible with the model of her car and has been reading up on the mechanics. She has recharged the battery and checked the oil; she has replaced the spark plugs and checked the fuel supply. Still the car won’t start.

Eventually, she resigns herself to the fact that she does not know how to fix her car.
Acknowledging defeat, she decides to call Dean, Lucy’s husband. She knows that he has fixed Lucy’s car on many occasions. Although he is not able to drive himself, he has extensive knowledge of motor engines, mainly because Lucy has never bothered to learn mechanics beyond checking the oil and tyre pressure.

Dean comes to Paula’s aid and takes a look at the engine. It isn’t long before he recognises the problem.

Dean: It seems that your fan motor connection has been coming loose. Here, let me show you.

Paula: Oh really? I have been reading that in the manual. I have been fixing everything else
and forgot to check that. How silly!

Dean: Don’t worry. It’s easy to forget. See here, the wire is exposed. All you have to do is
unscrew, check the wire isn’t threaded and screw it back in. I’ve got some spare wiring here, you can have it. Come on, we’ll replace the whole thing. I’ll talk you through it.

Paula: Thanks Dean. I have been studying all about motor engines but I guess you really have to apply your knowledge.

Dean: That’s okay. It’s great that you have been learning about it all. Lucy just gets me to fix
the car. She can’t be bothered to give it a try. She says it’s like I’m speaking another language when I talk about mechanics.

Paula: Everyone has their blind spots I guess.

Dean: Well, she knows numbers. I just phase out when she talks about accounting. I’ve always been more practical I guess, that’s why I work in construction.

Paula: And know about car engines too. Dean, you've been a great help. Let’s get this car back on the road!


Facts: Between 1885 and 1910 most cars had gas engines and did not require storage batteries as there were no components that required electricity. The car horn was simply the driver shouting and pressing a pedal to ring a bell.




Interactive Video Comprehension Quiz 1


Summary Statements Comprehension Quiz 2


Drag and Drop Quiz 3: 



The present perfect continuous is used for a recently completed action.



You’re out of breathe. Have you been playing football?

We have been discussing the problem and have come to an agreement.


The present perfect continuous  is also used when we refer to actions that have started in the past and are still happening. It tends to appear with how long, for ... and since.

“How long have you been studying English?” “I have been studying English since I was twelve”

Jim has been studying at the library for three hours. He hasn’t come back home yet.


Differences between Present perfect continuous Vs. Present perfect simple

Present Perfect Continuous                        Present Perfect Simple
  • We focus our attention on the activity itself, but we're not sure if it's finished or not.
  • The activity is finished and we focusour attention on the result of that activity.
 Thomas has been cooking paella in the kitchen.

(We don’t know if he is still cooking or not)

Thomas has cooked paella in the kitchen.

(He has finished cooking.) 

 Andrew has been fixing the printer. (We don’t know if he is still fixing it or not.) Andrew has fixed the printer.

(The problem with the printer is definitely solved.)

  • We express how long (length) for          activities that are still happening.
  • We express how much (quantity), how many times for complete activities.
This book is endless. I  have been reading it for ages. I have done two exercises today.
I can’t work with this computer. It has been freezing since I started working. She has been to the gym three times this week.





  • Related Pronunciation Video Lesson and interactive exercise(s):




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