You are on page 1of 13

The Present

Perfect Tense

Presented by Sasha & New Headway, 2003

Introduction
The same form HAVE+Past
Participle exists in many European
languages, but the uses in English
are different. In English, the
Present Perfect Tense is
essentially a present tense but it
also expresses the effect of past
action and activities on the
present.

Forming
HAVE / HAS + Past Participle
Past participle:
1.
Regular: -ed suffix (played)
2.
Irregular: III column (done)
I have played ~ She has seen
He has done ~ I have met

Present perfect
Present perfect means before now

PAST

PRESENT
PERFECT

PRESENT

The Present Perfect does not express when an action happened. If we


say the exact time we have to use the Past Simple:
1. In my life I have travelled to all five continents.
2. I travelled round Africa in 1988.

Use 1
The Present Perfect has three main uses:
It expresses an action which began in the past
and still continues

Weve lived in the same house for 25 years.

Peters worked as a teacher since 1991.

How long have you known each other?

Theyve been married for twenty years.


Many languages express this idea with a present
tense:
1.

Peter is a teacher for ten years. WRONG


Peter has been a teacher for ten years. CORRECT

Time expressions
Note the time expressions that are common with this
use. We use FOR with a period of time, and
SINCE with a point of time:

FOR

two years

1970

a month

the end of the lesson

a few minutes

SINCE

August

half an hour

8.00 pm

ages

Christmas

Use 2
2. It expresses an experience that happened at
some time in ones life. The action is in the past
and finished, but the effects of the action are still
felt. When the action happened is not important!
Ive been to the States. (I still remember)
Have you ever had an operation? (at any time in
your life up to now)
Ive never tried bunjee jumping.
How many times has she been married? (in her
life)

Use 3
3. It expresses a past action that has a present
result. The action is usually in the recent past:
Ive lost my wallet. (I havent got it now)
The taxi hasnt arrived. (we are still waiting)
What have you done to your lip? (Its bleeding)
Peter has shaved his beard off. (He looks
different now)
Useful adverbs:
Yet already just ever never recently lately

Use 4
4. We often announce news in the Present Perfect,
because the speaker is emphasizing the event
as a present fact.
Have you heard? The Prime Minister has
resigned.
Susans had her baby,
Ive ruined the meal. Its burnt.
Note the adverbs that are common with this use:
I havent done my homework yet.
Ive already done my homework.
Ive just seen her.

Final notes
1. Be careful with BEEN and GONE:
Hes been to America. (=experience, he isnt
there now)
Hes gone to America. (=present result, hes there
now)
2. Compare the following sentences:
Ive lived in Paris for six years. (I still live there)
I lived in Paris for six years. (Now I live
somewhere else)
Shakespeare wrote many plays. (He cant write
any more, he is dead)
Ive written several books. (I can still write some
more)

Final notes
Have you seen Bill this morning? (Its still
morning)
Did you see Bill this morning? (Its the afternoon
or evening)
3. Compare the following right and wrong
sentences:

WRONG

RIGHT
a)

When did you go to Greece?

a)

When have you been to Greece?

b)

I saw him yesterday.

b)

I have seen him yesterday.

c)

Ive studied English for three years.

c)

I study English for three years.

d)

Where did you buy your jumper?

d)

Where have you bought your jumper?

e)

I havent brought my dictionary to class.

e)

I didnt bring my dictionary to class.

Final notes

We can see how Present Perfect refers to


indefinite time and the Past Simple refers to
definite time by looking at the time expressions
used with the different tenses:

Present Perfect - Indefinite

Past Simple - Definite


yesterday

for a long time

Ive done it

since July
before
recently

I did it

last week
two days ago
at eight oclock
in 1990

Thank you for watching this presentation