Of the important tenses in the English language is the Present Perfect tense, but some of the English speakers might have a difficult time. The Present Perfect Tense uses concepts and ideas which do not exist in those languages. Comparatively, the Present Perfect tense has a simple structure. There are some differences in the use of the tense in British and American English. 

In this concept, we will learn about the structure and the use of the Present Perfect Tense along with the use of the words ‘for’ and ‘since’ which will be followed by a short and simple exercise that will check your understanding.

The Present Perfect Tense is a very useful and important tense. Do not try to translate this Present Perfect Tense in your language.

The making and the working is the Present Perfect Tense is explained below;

Conjugated in Present Simple
Have, hasPast participle
  • In the Present Simple Tense, the auxiliary verb is conjugated: have, has
  • In past participle form, the main verb is invariable: -ed (or irregular)
  • In case of negative sentences, we put not between the auxiliary verb and the main verb.
  • In case of question sentences, the subject and the auxiliary verbs are exchanged.

Let us have a look at some examples for a better understanding:

+          I          have    been  To Europe.
+      You          have    finished  The book.
      She          hasnot    eaten  Her meal.
        We          havenot    watched  The movie.
?      Have          you    worked  well?
?      Have          they    completed  it?

Contracting the word with present perfect and how do we do that? 

You must have seen or heard people using words like I’ve, You’ve, We’ve, etc. So what are these?

Do know that when we use the Present Perfect tense in speaking, we often contract the subject and the auxiliary verb. At times, we also do this in informal writing. 

  • I have – I’ve
  • You have – You’ve
  • She has – She’s
  • They have – They’ve
  • We have – We’ve
  • Matt has – Matt’s
  • It has – It’s

For example,

  • I’ve read that novel before.
  • We’ve heard that song.

In the case of negative sentences, we contract the auxiliary verb along with ‘not’.

  • I haven’t read that novel before.
  • We haven’t heard that song before.
  • He hasn’t heard from him.

Remember that the Present Perfect Tense will always have a connection with the past and the present. Present Perfect Tense is used to speak about either experience, change, or a continuing situation.

Present Perfect Tense for experience

In this case, the event will be done in the past but you will have a memory of it, you will have an experience of it.

For example,

  • I have seen a lion.
  • We have eaten a chicken roll.
  • I have been there.

Present Perfect for a change

We use the Present Perfect for change in order to talk about a change or something new.

For example,

  • We have bought a bike.
  • Has the price gone down?
  • The murderer has murdered the person.

Present Perfect for continuing situation

Present perfect is also used to talk about a continuing situation. It tells about a state which started in the past and is still continuing in the present and might also continue in the future.

For example,

  • I have left that job since March.
  • He has been irritated since yesterday.
  • How long have you stayed here?

Note that the word “for” can be used with all types of tenses.


Change the tense of the sentence as given in the brackets.

  1. I have been to the USA. (Contract the first two words)
  2. I saw an alien. (Change it to present perfect tense for experience)
  3. The police will arrest the thief. (Change it to present perfect tense for change)
  4. He seems to be ill for two days. (Change it to present perfect tense for continuing situation)
  5. We have been watching this movie. (Contract the subject and the auxiliary verb)

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