- By CIBA International Program
- Modified August 3, 2016
Using Present Perfect Tense
Present perfect tense is used in the following ways:
1: To describe events that started in the past and have continued up to the present time
I have studied English since I was 11 years old. (up to now- I am still studying English)
I have studied English for 7 years. (up to now- I am still studying English)
I have lived in Bangkok all of my life. (up to now – I still live in Bangkok)
The adverbial phrases ‘since I was…’, ‘for 7 years’, ‘all of my life’ indicate that the event started in the past and has continued to the present time and may continue into the future.
2: To describe experiences that could happen again
I have been to Chiang Mai three times. (up to the present time – I could go again)
I have passed three levels of English. (up to the present time – I could pass level 4)
I have crashed my car twice. (up to the present time- I could crash it again)
3. To ask questions about experiences that could happen again
Have you finished your assignment yet?
Have you ever been to Pattaya? (ever = at any time)
How many times have you been to Central World? (up to now)
The adverb ‘yet’ indicates up to the present time.
4. To describe very recent events
I have just finished my essay.
I have just had my lunch.
I have only very recently graduated.
I have already finished my work.
The adverbs ‘just’ and ‘already’ and the phrase ‘(only) very recently’ indicate the recent completion of a task.
Adverbs, adverbial phrases and adverbial clauses are the key to the selection of the right tense.
The adverbs, (and phrases and clauses containing these adverbs) ‘since’, ‘for’, ‘yet’, ‘just’ and ‘already’ normally indicate the use of present perfect.
In contrast, adverbs such as ‘last year/week/month’, yesterday, a few days ago, last Tuesday, three hours ago etc. all indicate that the time period has already finished, so we use past simple.
It is impossible for something to happen again ‘last year’ as last year has already finished.
How to use Present Perfect tense
|Subject||Auxiliary verb||Adverb ||Main verb (v3)||Object
|I||have ||just ||eaten||my sandwich
|My dog (It)||has||just||eaten||its food.
|My sisters (They)||have||already||eaten||their dinner.
Present Perfect tense
We form the present perfect tense with have / has +part participle.
I have never been to Germany never = at no time
I haven’t ever been to Germany. ever = at any time
I have not finished my homework.
Note: ‘ever’ is used in questions and negative answers but NOT in positive answers.
Correct: ‘I have been to Germany.’ Incorrect: ‘I have ever been to Germany’
Practice and Learn:
http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/presentperfect.html (includes online exercises)
http://www.perfect-english-grammar.com/present-perfect-exercises.html (online exercises)
https://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/present-perfect-simple (online exercises)
Watch these videos