Using The Present Perfect Tense in English

The Present Perfect is a grammatical combination of the present tense and the perfect aspect that is used to express a past event that has present consequences.


The forms are present because they use the present tense of the auxiliary verb “have”, and perfect because they use that auxiliary in combination with the past participle of the main verb.

1. Forming the Present Perfect tense

The Present Perfect Tense is formed using the following structure:

  • Affirmative: Subject + Have / Has + Past Participle
  • Negative: Subject + Haven't / Hasn't + Past Participle
  • Question: Have / Has + Subject + Past Participle

2. When do we use the Present Perfect tense

To show the result of an action.

To talk about actions that started in the past and continue to the present.

Events that have occurred up to now (yet)

Events that occurred before you expected (already)

Events that recently occurred (just)

Express frequency (once/twice/...)

Talking about general experiences (ever, never)

Events that began in the past and haven't changed (for, since)

The differences between "For" and "Since"

"For" talks about a period or duration of time. It doesn’t have to be an exact number, but it needs to refer to a period of time.

For examples:

  • For the weekend: We’re going to New York for the weekend.
  • For ages: I’ve known you for ages.
  • For a long time: I have been studying English for a long time.

...

"Since" refers to a specific point in time

  • I have lived here since 2010.
  • It has been raining since 8 a.m
  • I have been walking since 5 p.m.

...

3. The Differences between Past Simple and Present Perfect tense

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Using The Present Perfect Tense in English

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