In our special series of podcasts about grammar in context, we have already talked about present simple and continuous and past simple and continuous. Today we’re talking about the present perfect. Listen to the previous episode for an explanation of the past simple. Here we use it to contrast with the Present Perfect
Form: Subject + Have/Has + Past Participle (3rd column when it’s an irregular verb)
Contractions: ‘ve, ‘s
Negative form: Subject + Haven’t/Hasn’t + Past Participle
Questions: Have/Has + Subject + Past Participle
We use present perfect to talk about things in the past that have a certain connection with the present. The present perfect can’t be separated in time from now
We use present perfect to talk about things that started in the past and haven’t finished yet. We usually use FOR and SINCE in these cases.
How long have I lived in Spain? You have lived in Oviedo for 13 years. Wrong! I’ve lived in Oviedo for 10 years.
How long has this school existed? This school has existed for nearly 7 years. Correct!
How long have I been married? You’ve been married for 5 years. Correct!
How long have I been a teacher? You’ve been a teacher for 14 years. Correct!
You can also use present perfect in it’s negative form with SINCE and FOR to talk about things that we haven’t done for a long time
How long has it been since you saw your mum? I haven’t seen my mum since September.
How long has it been since you’ve seen your oldest friend? I haven’t seen her since September.
How long has it been since you had a coffee? It’s been about an hour.
We also use the present perfect in combination with certain words such as JUST, RECENTLY, YET and ALREADY
Have you started watching cookery programmes and noting down the recipes in a notebook yet? I haven’t started doing that yet.
Have you started thinking about washing or changing your curtains yet? Have you washed your blinds yet? Actually, I have.
When you go out with your friends have you started going home early because you want to do something the morning after? I’ve been in my thirties for a long time.
We also use present simple when we’re talking about experiences in general with NEVER and EVER
Have you ever danced on a table?
Have you ever done a movie marathon of 3 or more films?
Have you ever hidden chocolate so no one else would eat it?
Have you ever trolled someone online?
Have you ever skipped school?
How long have you lived in your house?
How long have you known your best friend?
How long is it since you’ve seen your cousin?
How has it been since you last had a good laugh?
Have you listened to the previous podcast about past simple and past continuous yet?
Have you got your ideal job yet?
Have you ever swum in a river?
Have you ever been to England?
You can check the list of irregular verbs here
Don’t forget to check Past Simple