Present Perfect

The Present Perfect is used to indicate a link between the present and the past.

The time of the action is before now but not specified, and we are often more interested in the result than in the action itself.

Present Perfect Uses

We use the present perfect

  • To talk about our experiences up to now.
  • To talk about a finished event or state in the very recent past.
  • When a single past action has a connection with the present
  • With for and since to talk about a present situation that began at a specific point in the past and is still going on in the present

Present Perfect: Affirmative and Negative

These are affirmative and Negative sentences using the Present Perfect

AffirmativeNegative
I have danced beforehaven’t danced before
You have been here twiceYou haven’t been here
She has kissed meShe hasn’t kissed me yet
He has made dinner here yetHe hasn’t made dinner here yet
It has happened beforeIt hasn’t happened yet
We have robbed beforeWe haven’t done anything illegal
They have done their homeworkThey haven’t done their homework

Presesent Perfect: Yes or No Questions

These are some examples of Yes or No Questions with the Present Perfect

Has / HavePronounPast Particple
have you played games before?
havetheybeen to the United States?
has she done her homework?
haveyoudone your part of the deal?
have they made a cake before?
have you told her about my new car?
have westayed in this hotel before?

Present Perfect: Wh- Questions

Check how these question are made in the following chart. 

Wh-QuestionHas / HavePronounPast Particple
Wherehave you been?
Where havetheybeen?
Whathas she done ?
Why haveyoudone it?
Where have they gone?
Whathave you told her?
What have wemade

Present Perfect Tag Questions

These are some examples of tag questions with the present perfect

She has visited grandmahasn’t she?
You have played soccer beforehaven’t you?
He hasn’t smoked weedhas he?
Those kids have never played volleyballhave they?
Keisha hasn’t spoken to you yet has she?
They have completed the project haven’t they?
He has finished reading my book hasn’t he?
She has finished her homework  hasn’t she?

Present Perfect with For and Since

For and since are commonly used with the present perfect tense.

For

We use for to talk about a period of time.

  1. I haven’t smoked for weeks
  2. I haven’t done anything illegal for months
  3. I  haven’t paid my taxes for years, I might go to jail.
  4. They have lived in Paris for 10 years
  5. She has worked in this factory for 3 months

Since

We use since to talk about a specific point in time, or a time when the action started.

  1. I haven’t smoked since 2010.
  2. He hasn’t driven a car since he had an accident last year
  3. I haven’t done anything illegal since last September
  4. I haven’t paid my taxes since 2011
  5. She hasn’t visited my house since we broke up
  6. I have created electronic music since I was a teenager
  7. I haven’t eaten that much since Christmas.

Present Perfect: Just, Still, Yet and Already

Yet is used to talk about something which is expected to happen

  • You haven’t finished your homework yet
  • I haven’t called her yet
  • She hasn’ t eaten yet
  • he hasn’t called the doctor yet

Just means ‘a short time ago’.

  • Jena has just called
  • Liam has just finished his performance
  • I have just cleaned this floor
  • Dad’s just washed up.
  • The football game has just begun

Still is used to talk about something that hasn’t finished 

  • The bus still hasn’t come
  • I still haven’t finished my homework..
  • I still haven’t done that

Already is used to say that something has happened early 

  • I’ve already wasted all the lottery money
  • The bus has already left
  • I have already done the chores.
  • Have you already eaten?
  • Have the kids already eaten their lunch?
  • I’ve already called the doctor.

Present Perfect and the Passive Voice

These are some examples that show how an active sentence can be changed into a passive sentence using the present perfect

Tourists have visited that castle That castle has been visited by tourists
I have opened the present The present has been opened
I haven’t finished the jobThe Job hasn’t been finished
James has broken another windowAnother window has been broken
She has written six lettersSix letters has been written
He has cooked dinnerDinner has been cooked
Thomas has written many books. Many books have been written by Thomas.
They have cleaned the clinic. The clinic has been cleaned by them.

Present Perfect and Tag Questions

These are some examples of Tag Questions with the Present Perfect:

Present PerfectYou have done this, haven’t you?
Present PerfectShe hasn’t called you, has she?

The Present Perfect used on Television

These are two great videos that include many examples of the present perfect

More Information

Check these pages and sites before you go:

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