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Present Perfect Tense

What is the present perfect tense? How do we use present perfect tense? How to use present perfect tense?

The Present Perfect Tense


1) We use the present perfect to describe past events which are connected to the present:

Sam has lost his keys. (=He is looking for his keys and he still hasn’t found them.)

2) The present perfect is formed with the present tense of the auxiliary verb to have and the past participle (third column in the list of irregular verbs). Questions are formed by inverting the subject and have/has. Negatives are formed with not. Contracted forms are used.

(+) I have already seen that movie./I’ve already seen that movie.
(-) I have not seen that movie yet./I haven’t seen it yet.
(?) Have I seen that movie?

The present perfect describes past events which are connected to the present, although this tense can be used to describe different situations:

a) experiences in our life up to now.

I’ve been to Spain and Portugal. I really want to go to the UK. I haven’t been there yet.

b) an event in the past that has a result in the present.

Lilly has broken her foot. Her foot is still in a cast.

c) a situation that started in the past and continues until the present.

I’ve lived here for twenty years. And I am still living here now.

d) how many things are completed so far.

Peter has read 50 pages of this book so far. There are 150 pages left.

Pay attention to the time markers:

a) we use ever and never when we ask or talk about our experiences in life.

Have you ever eaten Chinese food? – I’ve never eaten it.

b) we use already in positive sentences to describe an action which has happened before. We use yet in questions and negative sentences to describe an action which hasn’t happened before.

I haven’t finished this book yet, and my sister has already begun reading another one.

c) we use just when we describe a very recent event.

My mom has just come home from work.

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