The Present Perfect Tense
1. What is the present perfect tense?
The present perfect tense is used to describe something that has happened between a time in the past and now.
The time has not finished. The action has finished.
2. Examples of unfinished times
The first step in making the present perfect tense is to have an unfinished time.
Examples of unfinished times include:
|today||in the last 3 days|
|this week||during my work|
|this year||my life|
*Recently can be finished or unfinished.
3. How to make the present perfect tense
To make the present perfect tense, use:
- (unfinished time) + have + perfect participle (p.p.)
*Perfect participles include been, eaten, gone, seen, etc..
*Note: ‘have’ changes to ‘has’ when using he, she or it
|Unfinished time||Have||Perfect participle||Example sentence|
|this week||have||gone||This week I have gone to school.|
|today||have||eaten||Today Ken has eaten 3 hot dogs.|
|the last 3 months||have||bought||In the last 3 months have bought two new cars.|
|my life||have||been||I have been to Malaysia three times.|
|I have gone to school.||The boys have stolen a car.|
|She has done her homework.||My computer has broken,|
|They have taken all my money.||Silvio has eaten my pudding and so I am going to kill him.|
5. Questions using the present perfect tense
To make a question in the present perfect tense, use:
- have + subject + p.p. + time phrase
*Note: *there is no need for a time phrase if people know what the time is.
Question words (what, why, how, etc.) can be added to the front of the question.
|question word||have||subject||p.p.||time phrase||full question|
|what||have||you||done||today||What have you done today?|
|what||have||they||eaten||this morning||What have they eaten this morning?|
|why||has||he||done||–||Why has he done that?|
|have||you||been||Have you been to Delhi?|
It is possible to talk about multiple actions within large periods of time.
|What have you done this morning?||I have woken up.|
I have eaten breakfast.
I have gone to school.
|What have you done this week?||I have visited my grandfather.|
I have gone to the cinema.
I have been to Beijing.
|Describe your life.||I have been to Las Vegas.|
I have graduated from high school.
I have got married and had 23 children.
6. Using ‘haven’t’
The present perfect tense can describe what you have not done.
For this, change ‘have’ to ‘haven’t’.
|He hasn’t cleaned the dishes today.||I haven’t met you in a long time.|
|She hasn’t been to Japan.||Henrietta hasn’t taken her exam yet.|
1. Answer these questions:
(i) What have you done today?
(ii) what have you done this week?
(iii) what have you done (in your life)?
2. Think of some things you haven’t done today.