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Present Perfect Tense

When and how to use the Present Perfect tense | What's the structure of the Present Perfect | Learn the Present Perfect tense

Present Perfect Tense - When and How to use the Present Perfect Tense:

We use the Present Perfect Tense

  • life experience; We often use ever/ never in these sentences.

Have you ever been to China? I’ve been to China twice.

Please note that 'never' is already a denial so if you use it in a sentence you have to use like this:

I’ve never met Beyonce in person.

You are talking about something started in the past but it’s still going on, I’m still alive I can bump into Beyonce or fly to China once again.

You can understand this ‘life experience’ thing if you compare the two sentences:

I was in China last week. or I’ve been to China twice.

Last week is over, it's finished. There is no more chance to do something last week. So the chance to go again to China 'last week' is impossible. But in the second sentence my life continues (hopefully), it's not finished so I have opportunity to go to China again.

I didn’t see Paul yesterday. or I haven’t seen Paul today.

Again, yesterday is over. My chance to see Paul again 'yesterday' is zero. But if I say 'today' - I haven't seen Paul today. When I say it it must be before midnight, otherwise I would say tomorrow or yesterday. We can say 'today' until midnight. So if it's before midnight I can still see Paul, maybe he will turn up at my door at some point. So I can use the present perfect and say I haven't seen Paul today.

Please note that there are further examples in the Tenses in the English Language course.

  • something started in the past and has continued into the present - since / for

I’ve lived in San Francisco for four years.

I’ve been in love with you since I saw you.

  • Most of the time you use the present perfect with already, just and yet

Hey, how are you doing? ' 'Hi, I've just thought of you…'

'Would you like something to eat?' 'No thanks, I've just had breakfast. '

When we use ‘already’ we want to say that something happened earlier than we expected:

'Do you really want to send this photo of you to him?''Oops, too late…I've already sent it…'

'Have you been to the gym? ' ' I never used to go to the gym much but I've just joined up to go every day so I look a lot better in my bikini. '

And we use ‘yet’ when we would like to say that we expect something to happen and yet means until this time.

Have you seen the new BubbleBee TV episode yet? Oh, no. I haven't seen it yet, I'll log into YouTube in a minute.

You can use ‘yet’ in questions and negatives.

  • something happened only a short time ago, that's still important, something happened in the past but has a connection with ‘now’

It can be published now. I've finished this project.

'What are these broken pieces on the floor?' 'Oh, I've dropped the vase.'

What is the structure?

It’s a perfect verb structure so there are ‘have / has’ plus the past participle form of the verb. As we’re in present perfect we use have/ has in the present:

have/has + verb 3 (past participle form)

In questions and negatives:

Have you ever seen a crocodile?

Has Jane worked in this office yet?

My parents haven't visited us since we moved in.

Michael hasn't arrived yet.

Learn with videos, further examples, funny situations - Tenses in the English Language | Visual Learning Course

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