The Present Perfect Simple in English

present perfect with examples

What is the Present Perfect?

The present perfect simple is an English tense which is used to express an action that started before and still going on or stopped recently. The present perfect is formed using the following rule:

Affirmative sentences: Subject + have / has + Past Participle.
Negative sentences: Subject + haven’t / hasn’t + Past Participle.
Question sentences: Have / has + Subject + Past Participle.

When to use:

1) Unspecified period before the current time:

We use the present perfect to talk about an action happened at an unspecified time, which is not important. Therefore, you should not use this tense with specific time expressions like last week, two year ago, yesterday…etc. However, you can consider the following expressions instead: once, many times, before, already, so far…etc.

2) Change over time:

We use the present perfect to talk about change that takes place over a period of time.

3) Achievements:

We use the present perfect tense to talk about achievement without putting emphasis on a specific time.

4) Unfinished actions:

We can use the present perfect to talk about actions which have not happened yet, and we are still waiting for those actions to happen.

5) Multiple actions during different times:

Among other uses of the present perfect is when we want to express the idea of having multiple actions that happened in the past and still take place in the current time.

6) Present perfect with the adverbs:

You can use the present perfect tense before an adverb such as: still, always, only, never, ever, just, etc.

7) Present perfect tense in the active or passive sentences:

HOW TO USE:

Affirmative: You have played that game many times.

Question: Have you played that game many times?

Negative: You have not played that game many times.


Subject Have Past Participle Rest of the Sentence
I have studied for the finals.
you have bought a new backpack.
He has eaten my apples.
She has been happy all day.
She has bought coffee this week.
We have lost the keys.
You have tried to speak English.
They have forgotten my name.

Negative sentences:

The contraction of the perfect tense in negative form is:

Have not = Haven't
Has not = Hasn't

Subject have Past Participle Rest of the Sentence
I haven't studied for the finals.
you haven't bought a new backpack.
He hasn't eaten my apples.
She hasn't been happy all day.
She hasn't bought coffee this week.
We haven't lost the keys.
You haven't tried to speak English.
They haven't forgotten my name.

Questions

To form questions in the present perfect, all you have to do is to invert the subject with verb:

Have Subject Past Participle Rest of the Sentence
Have I been chosen for the team?
Have you bought a new car?
Have he eaten my sandwich?
Has she written the letter?
Has she started on time?
Have we won a trophy?
Haven't you kept my secret?
Have they driven there?

Exercise for Present Perfect Simple


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