We make the Present Perfect tense with the auxiliary verb (have, has) and the past participle of the main verb.
- I have made two spelling mistakes.
- He has failed this test several times.
- We have invited all our friends.
- They haven’t visited London before.
We use ‘have’ when the subject is “I” or any other plural subject. The auxiliary “has” is used with all singular subjects.
Present Perfect Tense Structure
Present Perfect Tense Positive Sentences
Structure: Subject + have/has + past participle.
Present Perfect Tense Positive Sentences Examples
- We have played cricket for years.
- She has won many awards.
- We have always helped each other.
- I have rarely been here.
Present Perfect Tense Negative Sentences
To make the present perfect negative insert, not between have/has and the main verb. The word never is also used instead of not in some instances to make the present perfect negative. Have not and has not are contracted as haven’t and hasn’t, respectively.
Structure: Subject + have/has + not + past participle.
Present Perfect Tense Negative Sentences Examples
- I have not seen it before.
- You have not performed well in the competition.
- She has not yet completed her assignment.
- They haven’t finished their homework.
Present Perfect Tense Interrogative Sentences
Invert the subject and the auxiliary verb have or has to make questions in the present perfect tense.
Structure: Have or has + subject + past participle
Present Perfect Tense Interrogative Sentences Examples
- Have you ever seen him before?
- How’s your son been?
- Have they eaten lunch?
- Have you seen this movie?
Note that not every interrogative sentence is in this structure. Questions that ask who or what did an action don’t follow this question’s pattern.
- Who has bought this bike for you?
- Why have you torn away your clothes?
- Where have all the students gone?
- How long have they known each other?
Present Perfect Tense Negative Interrogative Sentences
In the negative interrogative form, sentences are also used to ask questions, but they imply that the person who asks expected the answer to be (or believes the answer should be) “yes.”
- Have you never tested his bike?
- Have you never watched this movie?
- Has he never cleaned up his bedroom?
Uses of the Present Perfect Tense with Examples
The present perfect tense expresses completed actions in the immediate past. It is used with just, already, and yet. Yet can be used in negatives and questions. Already go before the auxiliary has/have and after the main verb, and yet come at the end of the sentence. Both yet and already means before now.
- He has just arrived.
- I have just watched that movie.
- He has just finished his dinner.
- I have already sent her a letter.
- He has already left.
- Have you not met her yet?
“Just” is used in the meaning of already. It can also be used for “now” and “exactly.”
Note: These adverbs can also be used in the simple past tense.
To talk about actions that are completed in the past but whose time is not given or definite
- She has been to China.
- I have never seen him before.
- We haven’t met him yet.
- Have you ever visited that college?
It is used with since- and for-phrases to indicate events that have started in the past and continued up to now.
- I haven’t seen him since last Friday.
- They have been at home for two hours this morning.
- They have lived in Christchurch for more than thirty years.
The adverbs ever and never are used in the present perfect tense to ask someone if he/she has ever or never done something in his/her life.
- Have you ever visited this place before?
- He has never watched any movie.
Tell someone how many times you have done something in your life if it might happen again.
- I have visited Mumbai three times. (I might visit again.)
- She has been married three times.
Some other adverbs or adverb phrases and conjunctions used with present perfect tense are
Already, just, recently, Ever, yet, till (time), so far, of late, lately, before, (by)
by the time, after.
(ii) ‘Ever’ means any time in the past, and ‘always’ “never” is used in the negative sense.
(iii) ‘So far, yet, till’ means up to now or up to this.
(iv) Of late, lately
- I have completed four chapters of mathematics up till now/so far.
- Have they discussed the issue recently/ lately?
- I have bought this phone recently.
- Ali has already left.
Some of these adverbs (mainly the adverb ever) are used in the present perfect tense and adjectives in the superlative degree.
- She is the most beautiful teacher we have ever met.
- That is the tallest building I have ever seen.
- She is the sixth girl who has phoned me twice today.
- That is the longest paper we have ever attempted.
Difference Between Simple Past and Present Perfect with Examples
The past simple describes actions completed at a specific time in the past, while the present perfect describes actions completed at an unspecified time.
- Past Simple: His father was the head of our department for a long time. (His father is still the head.)
- Present Perfect: His father has been the head of our department for a long time. (His father is no longer the head.)
- Past Simple: I contacted him yesterday.
- Present Perfect: I have already contacted him.
- Past Simple: I visited London two times last year.
- Present Perfect: I have been to London several times.
- Past Simple: Has your brother ever been to Canada? Yes, he visited Berlin in 2015.
- Present Perfect: Yes, he has visited Berlin several times.
The verb go has two past participles, i.e., been and gone, but the meaning is different. Gone means going to a place, and been means to a place returning back again.
- We have not seen David recently. Where is he?
- He has gone to Manchester. (he is still there)
- Why were you last week?
- I have been to Manchester. (he went to Manchester, but he has come back.)
For is used in the simple past tense to describe an action that started and ended in the past. The present perfect uses since and for to express actions that started in the past and continued up to the present.
- Past Simple: We stayed here for three days.
- Present Perfect: We have stayed here for three days/since last Tuesday.
- Past Simple: I studied at Cambridge University for two years. (I no longer study there.)
- Present Perfect: I have studied at Cambridge University for two years. (I still study there)
With simple past tense, there must be a specific mention of time in the past.
Examples of Present Perfect Tense (Positive, Negative and Interrogative)
- Our classmates have gone on a field trip to Lahore.
- The road is closed. I think there has been an accident.
- Look! She has cooked lunch for us.
- Where’s your brother? He’s gone to the mall.
- Which movie have you not watched?
- I haven’t eaten this curry before.
- You have lied to me many times.
- She hasn’t taken the children to the park.
- We are famished; we haven’t had lunch yet!
- Why haven’t they started their study yet?
- This is the second time he has reminded me of this.
- Hakeem and I have known each other since we were in school.
- I haven’t heard he has passed his test.
- Where’s your phone?’ I don’t know. I have lost it.
- She can’t write anything now because she has cut her finger.
- They have never had a television.
- He has completed the thesis, but he hasn’t submitted it yet.