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The Present Perfect Tense expresses actions or events that began in the past and are still true or appropriate in the present time, or are now finished. Present Perfect is also used to tell about something which happened in the past but the exact time of the action isn’t known.
We form The Present Perfect with have/has and the Past Participle Form of the main verb.
a. I have visited my grandfather.
b. Has she called the police?
We use the past participle (verb3) of verbs to form the present perfect tense. The past participle of regular verbs is formed in the same way as in the past tense. See Irregular Verbs for a list of present, past and past participle forms of irregular verbs.
Subject + have / has + verb + complement
She has found her book.
Subject + haven't / hasn't + verb3 + complement
She hasn't found her book.
Have / Has + subject + verb + complement ?
Has she found her book?
Haven't / Hasn't + subject + verb + complement ?
Hasn't she found her book?
1) We use present perfect for a past action whose time is not mentioned and has a relation to the present. We are not interested in its time but the action itself.
I have never been to London.
I have read ‘Hamlet’.
I have never seen a famous person.
Have you ever played chess?
She has seen the Golden Gate Bridge.
NOTE: The question word ‘when’ is only used with Past Simple. We cannot use it with Present Perfect.
2) We often use present perfect tense for actions which happened in the past and that have an effect or a result in the present.
I’ve washed my hair.(My hair is wet now)
The party has finished. (The house is untidy )
Oh no! You have broken your arm. (His arm is in plaster)
The teacher has just gone out. (The teacher is not here)
Rabia has cut her finger. (Her finger is bleeding)
3) We use it for an action which began in the past and is still happening now.
I have seen him this morning. ( It is still morning )
My grandparents have lived in Florence for sixty years. (They are still living in Florence.)
Have you been busy this month? ( It is still the same month )
We can use the present perfect tense with ‘for’ and ‘since’ to talk about actions and events that take place in a period of time from the past until now.
JUST: The adverb ‘just’ is used with the present perfect tense to tell a recently completed action. ‘Just’ comes after the auxiliary verb ‘have/has’. This combination is used chiefly in the affirmative, though the interrogative from is possible. It isn’t normally used in the negative.
The teacher has just gone out.(She went out a few minutes ago)
The bus has just arrived.
Has he just gone out? Yes, he has.
Mr.Trick has just finished the cake.
ALREADY: The adverb ‘already’ is used when something has happened before we expected. ‘Already’ comes after the auxiliary verb ‘have/has. We use ‘already’ in affirmative.
I’ve already written a letter to my friend.
She’s already finished her homework.
The policemen have already arrested the thief.
YET: The adverb ‘yet’ is used when we are expecting something to happen but it hasn’t happened. “Yet” comes to the end of the clause. We use ‘yet’ in the negative sentences and in questions.
Mrs. Roberts hasn’t replied to my letter yet. (She hasn’t replied but she will).
Look at the difference between these two sentences.
George has been to Spain. -> He’s now at home again.
George has gone to Spain. -> He’s in Spain now.
He has been: He has finished his trip and turned back home.
He has gone: He has begun his trip.
Look at this example in order to see the difference more clearly.
A: Where’s Julie?
B: She’s away. She’s gone to Paris.
Julie has gone to Paris. -> She is in Paris now.
Two weeks later:
Adam: Hello, Julie!
Julie: Hello, I’ve been on holiday. I’ve been to Paris.
Julie has been to Paris -> She went to Paris but now she’s back.