Learn how and when to use the Present Perfect Tense in English with examples.
Forming the Present Perfect Tense
In English grammar, the present perfect is a combination of the present tense and perfect aspect that is used to express a past event that has present consequences.
The structure of the Present Perfect:
- Affirmative Sentence
Subject + have/has + past participle
I have tried sushi before.
- Negative Sentence
Subject + have not (haven’t)/has not (hasn’t) + past participle
I have not tried sushi before.
- Interrogative Sentence
Have/Has + subject + past participle?
Have you tried sushi before?
How to Use the Present Perfect Tense
The Present Perfect is used:
- To express things you have done in your life
I’ve been to England.
She has never studied Japanese.
- To express number of times you have done something
I’ve been to Paris three times.
How many times have you tried to call her?
- To describe recently completed actions which are important now
I have some bad news. I’ve lost my job.
I can’t play football tonight – I’ve hurt my leg.
- To express situations that started in the past and are still true
I’ve known James for 4 or 5 years.
She’s been the director of that company since 2007.
- To describe unfinished actions or situations
I’ve known Julie for ten years. (I met her ten years ago and I still know her)
We have lived here since 2004.
- To express present result
I’ve lost my keys.
John has missed the bus, so he’ll be late.
Time Adverbs in Present Perfect Tense
The present perfect tense is commonly used with the indefinite time adverbs (time expressions):