The Present perfect tense is one of those tenses of the English grammar that can easily confuse language learners sometimes. The Present Perfect tense is formed with the appropriate form of the verb “have” and the past participle (V3). In this lesson you will learn how to use this tense effectively.
How to use the Present Perfect Tense
1. Use the present perfect when you don’t know when an action happened or the specific time is irrelevant.
- I’ve started my homework. (it doesn’t matter when, the important thing is that I’ve started it.)
- Have you been to Australia?
- I have seen the Avengers movie three times.
2. Use this tense when the action in the past has a connection with the present/now.
– Where’s your wallet?
– I don’t know. I’ve lost it. (Maybe I lost it two hours ago, but now I don’t have it.)
3. Use the Present Perfect when you are talking about a time period that has not finished yet.
- I have read two books this week. (The week is not over yet, and I’ll probably read more books.)
- I have had two cups of coffee this morning. (It’s still morning, and I may drink a third cup of coffee, or more.)
- I have lived here all my life. (I still live here.)
4. Use it when an action finished right before the present. When this is the case, use “just”. It means “a short time ago”. “Just” comes between the auxiliary verb (have/has) and the past participle.
- She has just left.
- They’ve just finished.
already, ever, just, recently, never, How long, not yet, so far, till now, up to now
Present Perfect – Sentence Structures
Affirmative Sentence Structure:
|Subject||Auxiliary verb||Past participle||Rest of the sentence|
|I / You||have||opened||the window.|
|He / She / It||has||opened||the window.|
|We / You / They||have||opened||the window.|
Negative Sentence Structure:
|Subject||Auxiliary verb + NOT||Past participle||Rest of the sentence|
|I / You||have not or haven’t||opened||the window.|
|He / She / It||has not or hasn’t||opened||the window.|
|We / You / They||have not or haven’t||opened||the window.|
Interrogative Sentence Structure:
|Auxiliary Verb||Subject||Past participle||Rest of the sentence|
|Have||I / you||opened||the window?|
|Has||he / she / it||opened||the window?|
|Have||we / you / they||opened||the window?|
Present Perfect – Additional rules
The main verb
Regular verbs end with “ed”, for example: wanted, opened, answered.
Irregular verbs can take various forms, but with the Present Perfect you have to use the past participle form of the verb. For example: eat-ate-eaten, break-broke-broken