- This can be a hard tense to learn, especially for non-native English speakers. Present perfect cannot be used with specific expressions of time (such as: "yesterday," "last night," when I lived in Minneapolis," etc.). It can be used with non-specific expressions, like: "never," "ever," "many times," etc. For example: “I have been to France,” or “I’ve never been to Japan”. However, it is incorrect to say: “I have been to France for 4 months.”
They have traveled all of South America.
Signe has lived in Dominica.
The rose bush has grown so much.
The paint has faded.
|Past accomplishment, without a specific date||Stacy has won gold medals before.|
|Actions that are expected to be completed in the future||
I still haven’t finished this paper.
It hasn’t stopped raining yet.
|Multiple actions or events throughout time||
We’ve given this presentation four times.
They have seen the movie many times.
- Rules for conjugating present perfect:
- Have/has + past participle
- The past participle usually ends with: -ed, -d, -t, -en, or -n.
|Eat||Have eaten||Has eaten|
|Live||Have lived||Has lived|
|Close||Have closed||Has closed|
|Study||Have studied||Has studied|
|Many people have climbed mount Kilimanjaro.|
|The child has grown so much over the years.|
|They’ve fought on several occasions.|
|I’ve worked in Silicon Valley.|
- Present perfect continuous is used for events or actions that started in the past and continue into the present.
|To describe an event started in the past that is still happening.||
I’ve been cleaning houses for three months.
Sarah has been waiting all day for you.
|To describe recent events or actions.||
I’ve been eating really healthy lately.
They’ve been working so hard this week.
- Rules for conjugating present perfect continuous:
- Has been/have been + present participle (base verb + ing)
|Wait||Have been waiting||Has been waiting|
|Sleep||Have been sleeping||Has been sleeping|
|Work||Have been working||Has been working|
|Drink||Have been drinking||Has been drinking|
|She has been practicing piano so much in the recent months.|
|You’ve been travelling for weeks now.|
|I’ve been cooking since 3pm.|
- There are certain verbs that normally are not conjugated in the present perfect continuous (instead in the present perfect). These verbs include: understand, know, and want.
|I’ve been understanding your lectures. à I have understood your lectures.|
The present perfect tense cannot be used with specific expressions of time like "yesterday", "one month ago," etc. It is used with unspecific expressions of time, as seen in the table below.
|Recently||To date||In the last year|
|I have been to Japan in the last year.|
|She has never been to my favorite restaurant.|
|They have hiked Mount Hood before.|