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Present Perfect Simple


The present perfect tense:

This page will present the present perfect simple:

  • its form
  • and its use.

You may also be interested in the present perfect continuous

The form of the present perfect simple tense:

Have (in the simple present) + Verb (in the past participle form)

Positive Negative Interrogative
I have worked. I have not worked. Have you worked?

NOTE:

I have worked = I've worked
He has worked = He's worked
I have not = I haven't worked
He has not = He hasn’t worked

Examples:

  • Have you finished the job?
  • No, I haven't finished yet.
  • Yes, I have already finished.
  • She's just finished her job.

Remember:

  1. The past participle of regular verbs is :

    Rule Examples
    Verb + ed play - played 
    visit - visited
    finish -finished

  2. The past participle of irregular verbs can't be predicted (there is no rule .) But there is a list of irregular verbs that you have to learn by heart. Here are some examples:

    Infinitive Simple past Past participle
    be
    come
    go
    do
    meet
    was/were
    came
    went
    did
    met
    been
    come
    gone
    done
    met

The uses of the present perfect simple tense:

present perfect simple

1. To emphasize on the result of a past action without mentioning the actual time when it happened:

Examples:

  •  I have met that girl before.
  • We have discussed this issue a few times.

2. Action performed in a period that has not finished yet (the same day, week, month, etc.):

Examples:

  •  Have you seen Lacy today? (The day is not over yet.)
  •  I have had several tests this month. (The month has not finished yet.)


3. Action that started in the past and has continued until now. Often used with since (indicating the beginning of action) or for (indicating the duration of action):

Examples:

  • They have lived here for ten years.
  •  I have not seen her since we left high school.
  • Clare and John have known each other since they were at primary school.

4. It is used to indicate completed activities in the immediate past (with just).

Example:

  •  " He has just taken the medicine."

Present perfect vs past simple tense:

The use of past simple instead of present perfect requires clear reference to a past period/moment:

Present perfect Simple past
I have met that girl before I met that girl at the beach last Saturday.
Have you seen Nancy recently? Did you see Nancy yesterday?
We have discussed this issue a few times. We discussed this issue last month.
I have had some tests this week. I had some tests last week.

Related material

Present perfect continuous.
Exercise on the present perfect simple and continuous.
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