Indie rock star Sufjan Stevens followed Sinead O’Connor‘s example, writing a letter to pop star Miley Cyrus this week. But instead of offering career and lifestyle advice, Stevens only talked about grammar:
Dear Miley. I can’t stop listening to #GetItRight (great song, great message, great body), but maybe you need a quick grammar lesson. One particular line causes concern: “I been laying in this bed all night long.” Miley, technically speaking, you’ve been LYING, not LAYING, an irregular verb form that should only be used when there’s an object, i.e. “I been laying my tired booty on this bed all night long.” Whatever. I’m not the best lyricist, but you know what I mean. #Get It Right The Next Time. But don’t worry, even Faulkner messed it up.
Stevens also delivered a short lesson about the present perfect continuous tense. If you want to master present perfect continuous tense, the Perfect English Grammar site has a quiz to help you learn.
The English Page has a great explanation about this tricky tense:
We use the Present Perfect Continuous to show that something started in the past and has continued up until now. “For five minutes,” “for two weeks,” and “since Tuesday” are all durations which can be used with the Present Perfect Continuous.