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Present Perfect

The present perfect is formed from the present


tense of the verb have and the past participle of Note: We often use the adverb ever to talk
a verb. about experience up to the present:

The present perfect continuous is formed My last birthday was the worst day I have
with have/has been and the -ing form of the ever had.
verb.
Note: and we use never for the negative
We use the present perfect tense: form:

Have you ever met George?


1. for something that started in
Yes, but Ive never met his wife.
the past and continues in the present:

Theyve been married for nearly fifty 4. for something that happened in the past but is
years. important at the time of speaking:
She has lived in Liverpool all her life.
I cant get in the house. Ive lost my keys.
Note: We normally use the present perfect Teresa isnt at home. I think she has
continuous for this: gone shopping.
Im tired out. Ive been working all day.
She has been living in Liverpool all her life.
Its been raining for hours. Other uses

We use the present perfect continuous when We use the present perfect of be when someone
the focus is on an activity that is unfinished. has gone to a place and returned:

A: Where have you been?


Look at these two sentences.
B: Ive just been out to the supermarket.

Ive read that book you lent me. I finished it A: Have you ever been to San Francisco?
yesterday. B: No, but Ive been to Los Angeles.

Ive been reading that book you lent me. Ive got But when someone has not returned we
another 50 pages to read. use have/has gone:

A: Where is Maria? I havent seen her for


The present perfect simple (Ive read) gives the weeks.
idea of completion while the present perfect B: She's gone to Paris for a week. Shell be
continuous (Ive been reading) suggests that back tomorrow.
something is unfinished.
We often use the present perfect with time
2. for something we have done several times in adverbials which refer to the recent past:
the past and continue to do:
just; only just; recently;
Ive played the guitar ever since I was a
teenager. Scientists have recently discovered a new
He has written three books and he is breed of monkey.
working on another one. We have just got back from our holidays.
Ive been watching that programme every
or adverbials which include the present:
week.
ever (in questions); so far; until now; up to
We often use a clause with since to
now; yet (in questions and negatives)
show when something started in the past:
Have you ever seen a ghost?
Theyve been staying with us since last
Where have you been up to now?
week.
Have you finished your homework yet?
I have worked here since I left school.
No, so far Ive only done my history.
Ive been watching that programme every
week since it started. WARNING:

3. when we are talking about our experience up We do not use the present perfect with
to the present: an adverbial which refers to past time which
is finished:
I have seen that film yesterday. But we can use it to refer to a time which
We have just bought a new car last week. is not yet finished:
When we were children we have been to
California. Have you seen Helen today?
We have bought a new car this week.