Using The Present Perfect Tense in English

The Present Perfect tense 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.

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

The Present Perfect Tense

Present Perfect

When Do We Use the Present Perfect Tense

To Show the Result of an Action

Present Perfect

To Talk about Actions that Started in the Past and Continue to the Present

the Present Perfect

Events that Have Occurred Up to Now (Yet)

already/ yet

Events that Occurred before You Expected (Already)

already/ yet

Events that Recently Occurred (Just)

just- already - yet

Express Frequency (Once/Twice/…)

once/ twice

Talking about General Experiences (Ever, Never)

ever/ never

Present Perfect simple

Events that Began in the Past and Haven’t Changed (For, Since)

for, since

Present Perfect - since

Present Perfect - for

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.

Differences between "For" and "Since"

present perfect simple

The Differences between Past Simple & Present Perfect

Past Simple vs. Present Perfect

Past Simple vs. Present Perfect

Past Simple vs. Present Perfect

Using The Present Perfect Tense in English 1

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