Easy Learning

The present perfect tense - Easy Learning Grammar

Typical forms of this tense are as shown in:
  • I have finished.
  • He has found them.
  • They’ve finished.
  • They’ve found her.
  • Listen! I’ve heard some great news; Jim’s won!
  • They’ve bought a brand new car.
  • You’ve got a nerve!
  • Have they finished? – No, they haven’t.
  • Has Mary arrived yet? – No, she hasn’t.
  • I have not finished.
  • He has not finished.
  • Ranee hasn’t found her bracelet yet.
  • They haven’t seen her.
The contracted forms are:
has = ’shave = ’ve
has not = hasn’thave not = haven’t
The present perfect tense is used to talk about events that are relevant to the present but that happened in the past. It is used to talk about an action that started in the past, without mentioning a specific time.
  • Her daughter has had an accident.
  • We have seen the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe.
If the present perfect occurs more than once in a compound sentence, the second and subsequent instances of have can be left out.
  • They have bought their tickets and booked their seats.
  • We can use just if we want to show that the action has very recently been completed.
  • They have just bought their tickets.
  • He has just finished his homework.
If the event did not take place you can use never. If you want to find out whether it took place or not, you can use ever.
  • Have you ever been to Greece?
  • I’ve never done anything like this before.
  • If we want to indicate a moment in time or a period of time, we can use expressions such as recently, lately, this morning, today, or this week with the present perfect tense.
  • I haven’t been to the cinema recently.
  • I’ve waited a week for your answer.
  • In questions and negative sentences, the present perfect can be used with yet, meaning ‘at the time of speaking’. In positive sentences, use already.
  • Haven’t you finished yet?
  • Have you bought the tickets yet?
  • I’ve already seen that film.
The present perfect tense is often used to answer the question How long…? together with for to talk about a period of time, or since to talk about duration from a point in time.
  • I have lived in Edinburgh for fifteen years.
  • How long have you lived in Edinburgh?
  • We’ve had this car since 2008.
  • We haven’t spoken to each other since the night of the argument.

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