Present Perfect

Present Perfect ─ Grammar

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

 

Uses and examples:

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.

  • We use FOR to indicate a duration of time
    • They’ve played football on the same team for 7 years.
  • We use SINCE to indicate a point in time when something started
    • I’ve lived in Oviedo since 2005.

 

Quiz about me:

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

  • I haven’t seen my cousin for years.
  • I haven’t been to London since 2010.

 

Questions:

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

  • JUST is used to express something you did very recently. JUST always goes right after the subject or auxiliary verb
    • I’ve just had a coffee.
    • What have you just done? I’ve just biked to work.
    • I’ve just woken up.
    • You’ve just done some photocopies.
  • YET is used when we’re talking about something that is probably going to happen but hasn’t happened. It’s also used for questions. YET always goes at the end of the sentence
    • I haven’t done my homework yet.
    • Have you done your homework yet?

 

Questions crisis at 30:

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.

 

  • ALREADY is the same as yet but for things that you have done.  It suggests that you did it before the expected time.
    • The bus is here already.
    • I’ve seen episode 4 of Game of Thrones already.  There was a leak and they’re available online now!
    • I’ve already cleaned the house.
    • I’ve already gone grocery-shopping and cooked my meals for this week.
    • I’ve already taught some classes.

 

We also use present simple when we’re talking about experiences in general with NEVER and EVER

  • Have you ever eaten frogs’ legs? No, I haven’t OR I have never eaten frogs’ legs.

 

Game: Have you 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?

 

Now try to answer these questions using…

For/since:

How long have you lived in your house?

How long have you known your best friend?

 

I haven’t…

How long is it since you’ve seen your cousin?

How has it been since you last had a good laugh?

 

Yet

Have you listened to the previous podcast about past simple and past continuous yet?

Have you got your ideal job yet?

 

Have you ever…

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

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