The Present Perfect

The English present perfect is used to talk about things that started in the past and still have an effect on the present. The past action may be complete or may still be in progress at the time of speaking.

 

While knowing when to use this tense can be challenging for English learners, it is one of the more common tenses, and an invaluable tool for communicating. 

 

Seeing the sense of accomplishment my students feel when they correctly use this tense to tell a story or ask a question is one of the highlights of my teaching and tutoring experience!

 

Read on for tips on how to form the English present perfect tense, or:

Click here to see the B1 Verb Tenses Bundle in the store.

Click here to see the Present Perfect Regular Verbs Workbook in the store.

Click here to see the Present Perfect Irregular Verbs Workbook in the store.

Click to download a free sample worksheet.

Present Perfect Affirmative

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The present perfect affirmative is formed by using "have" or "has" and the past participle (second form) of the verb.

  • Examples:
    • I have lived in Arizona since 2009.
    • Frank has worked for them for two months.

Present Perfect Negative

The present perfect negative is formed by putting "not" after the "have" or "has."

  • Examples:
    • Lily hasn't called her mom yet this week.
    • We haven't decided what to eat for dinner.

Present Perfect Questions

Present perfect yes/no questions are formed by moving the "have" or "has" to the beginning of the sentence.

  • Examples:
    • Have you traveled to Italy before?
    • Has the boss talked to you yet?

Present perfect wh-questions are formed by putting the wh-word at the beginning of the sentence. The rules for yes/no questions still apply.

  • Examples:
    • Where have you traveled to before?
    • How many time has Jack called you?