Monday, 7 December 2009

Present perfect simple: Use and form (explanation)

The present perfect simple is have/has + past participle. (regular verbs in-ed, irregular verbs 3rd list.
I have(‘ve) left/arrived.
He/She/ has (‘s) left/arrived.

When we use the present perfect, there is a connection with now. The action in the past has a result now.

e.g. Tom is looking for his key. He can’t find it. He has lost his key. (he lost it recently, and he still doesn’t have it.

The present perfect is usually used with the following time expressions.
Just = a short time ago e.g Are you hungry? No, I’ve just had lunch.
already - to say that something happened sooner than expected:
e.g. What time is Mark leaving?” He’s already left.
Yet = until now. Yet shows that the speaker is expecting something to happen. Use yet only in questions and negative sentences:
I’ve written the letter, but I haven’t sent it yet
Always e.g she has always loved animals
Never e.g She has never been to China
So far e.g. I have sent twenty invitations so far.

Also with:
Lately/recently e.g. I haven’t heard from Jim recently/lately.
In the last few days e.g. I’ve met a lot of people in the last few days.
Since e.g. I haven’t eaten anything since breakfast.
For e.g. I have known Jack for five years/ for a long time/ for ages
How long e.g. How long have you known Jack?

Also with today/this evening/this year etc. When these periods are not finished at the time of speaking.e.g. I’ve drunk a lot of cups of coffee today.
Have you had a holiday this year (yet)?
I haven’t seen Tom this morning. Have you?

We use the present perfect when we say it’s the (first/second etc.) time something has happened.e.g It’s the first time I’ve driven a car.
I have never driven a car before.

We use the present perfect when we talk about a period of time that continues from the past until now. E.g “Have you travelled a lot? Yes, I’ve been to lots of places.

The present perfect is used for an action which happened at an unstated time in the past. The exact time is not important, so it is not mentioned. The emphasis is placed on the action.

E.g. He has broken his arm.
Peter has been to Paris four times.

Note the difference between gone (to) and been (to):
Jim is on holiday. He has gone to Italy. (he is there now or on his way there)
Jim is back home now. She has been to Italy. (= she has now come back)

Click here to do some exercises
More exercises
More exercises: translate the following sentences into English

No comments:

Post a Comment