What is present perfect tense?
The present perfect tense is really a very interesting tense. It can make peculiar challenges to people who are learning English as a second language. Most learners feel this is one of the most difficult tenses to use correctly. In fact, the structure of the present perfect tense is very simple. The problems come with the use of the tense. I hope the rules below are helpful.
Rule 1 Unspecified Time before Now
The present perfect tense connects the present to the past. It is used to express actions that happened at an unspecified time or that began in the past and continue in the present.The exact time is not important.
Note: We cannot use Present Perfect with specific time expressions, can only use with unspecific expressions.
Specific time expressions: yesterday, one year ago, last week, etc.
Unspecific time expressions: ever, never, already, yet, just, once, many times, several times, before, so far, etc.
I have seen that movie.
I have met her once before.
We have lived in London.
He has never been abroad.
You should not use this tense with time expressions like yesterday, a week ago, last year, etc.
I have seen her yesterday.
We have gone to California last year.
“Unspecified time” can be very confusing to learners. Hope the following topics will be useful to understand.
We often use the present perfect tense to talk about experience from the past. we don’t say when the experience happened, just sometime in the past.
- I have been to Canada.
- She has lived in India.
- They have visited The Iguazu Waterfalls three times.
- We have never seen that film.
Finished action with a result in the present:
We also use the present perfect tense to talk about a past action that has the result in the present.
- I have lost my pan card
- They have missed the bus
Change over time:
- I have bought a car.
- You have grown since the last time I saw you.
- My English has really improved.
Rule 2: Continuation in the present
We use the present perfect tense to talk about an action which started in the past and continuous up to now.
- He has worked as a teacher for over 25 years.
- She has achieved a lot in his life.
- How long have you been at this website?
How do we make the simple present tense?
The present perfect tense is formed by using has or have with the past participle form of the verb.
- 1. Affirmative (Positive) Sentence
|Subject||Auxiliary||Verb||Rest of the sentence.|
|I, We, You, They||have||Past Participle||Rest of the sentence.|
|He, She, It||has||Past Participle||Rest of the sentence.|
- 2. Negative Sentence
|Subject||Auxiliary +Not||Verb||Rest of the sentence.|
|I, We, You, They||have + not||Past Participle||Rest of the sentence.|
|He, She, It||has + not||Past Participle||Rest of the sentence.|
- 3. Yes/No type Question
|Auxiliary||Subject||Verb||Rest of the sentence?|
|Have||I, We, You, They||Past Participle||Rest of the sentence?|
|Has||He, She, It||Past Participle||Rest of the sentence?|
- 4. Information Question?
|Question||Auxiliary||Subject||Verb||Rest of the sentence?|
|QW||have||I, We, You, They||Past Participle||Rest of the sentence?|
|QW||has||He, She, It||Past Participle||Rest of the sentence?|
Verb – Past Participle
Auxiliary verb – Have and Has
I, We, You, They – Have
He, She, It – Has
1. Affirmative (Positive) Sentences
|Subject||Auxiliary||Past Participle||Rest of the sentence
|She||has||achieved||a lot in her life.|
2. Negative Sentences
|Subject||Auxiliary + Not||Past Participle||Rest of the sentence
|I||have not||had||breakfast already.|
|You||have not||initiated||the communication.|
|We||have not||sent||a request.|
|He||has not||finished||his work.|
|She||has not||achieved||in her life.|
3. Yes/No type Question
|Auxiliary||Subject||Past Participle||Rest of the sentence?
|Has||She||achieved||in her life?|
4. Information Questions
||Rest of the sentence?
|What||has||she||achieved||in her life?|