English - Present Perfect

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Introduction / Use

The present perfect tense tell us about the past and the present. We use it when we see things as happening in the past but having a result in the present.

Example :

  • We've washed the dishes. (They are clean now)
  • The aircraft has landed means that the aircraft is on the ground now.


The present tense of have + a past participle.


  • I/you/we/they have washed or I/you/we/they've washed
  • he/she/it has washed or he/she/it's washed


  • I/you/we/they haven't washed
  • he/she/it hasn't washed


  • Have I/you/we/they washed ?
  • Has he/she/it washed ?


Regular past participles end in -ed (e.g. washed, landed, finished)

Irregular Form

Some participles are irregular :

  • made
  • sold
  • thought
  • written
  • drunk

Just, already, yet

- Meaning Location Example
Just a short time ago before the past participle I've just had an idea
Already sooner than expected before the past participle Most people have already gone home
Yet we are expecting something to happen after the past participle It's eleven and you haven't finished breakfast yet

For, since and how long

Here something began in the past and has lasted up to the present time. We use since

  • We've lived in Oxford since 1992. NOT We live here since 1992

We say use to say how long this period is (for three days)

  • Vicky has only had that camera for three days.

We use how long in the question :

  • How long has Vicky this camera ? Since Thursday, I think

Gone or been to ?

  • Claire has gone to Australia : Gone there means that she is still there.
  • Calire has been to Australia : Been there means that the visit is over.

Ever and never


  • ever : in your whole life
  • never : means “not ever”

We use ever in questions. Example :

  • Have you ever played cricket ? No, never
  • Have you ever been in Brazil ?

First time, second time, etc

After It's/this is the first /second time, we use the Present perfect :

  • This is the first time, we've been to Scotland, so it's all news to us.
  • This is the second time that Rachel has forgotten to give me a message

Today, this week, etc

We use the present perfect with today and phrase with this, (eg this morning, this week, …) :

  • We've done quite a lot of work today
  • I haven't watched any television so far this week.

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