The Present Perfect Tense (Example & Explanation)| English Grammar

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The Present Perfect Tense (Example & Explanation)| English Grammar

I. Form
1. Affirmative (+)

Subject + have/has + Past Participle 

Ex:have worked for 4 years in the USA

2. Negative (-)

Subject + have/has + Past Participle 

The negative of have in present perfect is have not/has not. The contractions haven’t for have not and hasn’t for has not are not common in academic writing.

Singular

  • I have not walked
  • You have not walked
  • He / She / It has not walked

Plural

  • We have not walked
  • You have not walked
  • They have not walked

Sentences containing the verb have as the main verb may look odd in the present perfect. However, this construction is correct.

Ex: I have had many great cups of espresso since I arrived here in Italy.

3. Interro-Negative (?)

Have/has + Subject + Past Participle 

Ex: Have you ever visited the USA yet?

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II. How to use

Uses of the Present Perfect

  1. For an action that started in the past and continues in the present (This particular use often includes the phrases “since+ a specific time” or “for+ length of time”)
  • Ex: California has been a state since 1850.
  • Ex: California has been a state for more than 150 years.
  1. For an action that has just been completed (often using just)
  • Ex: We have just finished working.
  1. For a past action that still has an effect on the present
  • Ex: The company lost revenue, so management has fired many employees.
  1. For an action that happened several times (no specific past time) and may happen again (indefinite past)
  • Ex: We have eaten at that restaurant five times.
  1. For an action that happened in the past, but the time or frequency of the action is not important (often used with ever or never)(indefinite past)
  • Ex: Julia has never visited Las Vegas, but she would like to.
  • Ex: Have you ever driven an Italian sports car?
Notes on the Past Participle

Regular Verbs: The past participle of regular verbs is formed exactly like the simple past tense of regular verbs: verb + -ed
Base Past Past Participle
work -> worked -> worked
arrive -> arrived -> arrived
study -> studied -> studied
 

Irregular Verbs: Common ways of forming the past participle of irregular verbs are
-en and -ne. Some irregular verbs have vowel changes (i ->a -> u). Other verbs keep the base form for the past and the past participle.

Base Past Past Participle
Choose -> chose -> chosen
go -> went -> gone
sing -> sang -> sung
fly -> flew -> flown
put -> put -> put
tell -> told -> told

 

Read more: Regular and Irregular Verbs List (Full) from Cambridge Dictionary