present perfect


The present perfect is formed from the present tense of the verb have and the past participle of a verb:

The present perfect continuous is formed with have/has been and the -ing form of the verb:


We use the present perfect tense:

  • for something that started in the past and continues in the present:

They’ve been married for nearly fifty years.
She has lived in Liverpool all her life.

Note: We normally use the present perfect continuous for this:

She has been living in Liverpool all her life.
It’s been raining for hours.

  •  for something we have done several times in the past and continue to do:

I’ve played the guitar ever since I was a teenager.
He has written three books and he is working on another one.
I’ve been watching that programme every week.

We often use a clause with since to show when something started in the past:

They’ve been staying with us since last week.
I have worked here since I left school.
I’ve been watching that programme every week since it started.

  • when we are talking about our experience up to the present:

Note: We often use the adverb ever to talk about experience up to the present:

My last birthday was the worst day I have ever had.

Note: and we use never for the negative form:

Have you ever met George?
Yes, but I’ve never met his wife.

  • for something that happened in the past but is important at the time of speaking:

I can’t get in the house. I’ve lost my keys.
Teresa isn’t at home. I think she has gone shopping.
I’m tired out. I’ve been working all day.


 We use the present perfect of be when someone has gone to a place and returned:

A: Where have you been?
B: I’ve just been out to the supermarket.

A: Have you ever been to San Francisco?
B: No, but I’ve been to Los Angeles.

But when someone has not returned we use have/has gone:

A: Where is Maria? I haven’t seen her for weeks.
B: She's gone to Paris for a week. She’ll be back tomorrow.

We often use the present perfect with time adverbials which refer to the recent past:

just; only just; recently;

Scientists have recently discovered a new breed of monkey.
We have just got back from our holidays.

or adverbials which include the present:

ever (in questions); so far; until now; up to now; yet (in questions and negatives)

Have you ever seen a ghost?
Where have you been up to now?
Have you finished your homework yet?
No, so far I’ve only done my history.


We do not use the present perfect with an adverbial which refers to past time which is finished:

I have seen that film yesterday.
We have just bought a new car last week.
When we were children we have been to California.

But we can use it to refer to a time which is not yet finished:

Have you seen Helen today?
We have bought a new car this week.




Hi. Teachers.
If you could please tell me which of these two sentences is correct? In case if the second sentence is wrong, why?
1- The snow of the mountains has already started melting.
2- The snow has already started melting of the mountains.

Hi Karzan_Camus,

You need to change 'of the mountains' to 'in the mountains'. Other that that both sentences are possible.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

hello dear sir and BC team, I'm a new comer on this site.And my English is not good sorry for that. I'm delighted to use your site and it's extremely help me to improve my English language skills. make sure, I know all the verb tenses which are those can say by heart and other some important grammar rules too. however, I have more doubt about rules when I speak.but It's a bit ok as I please tell me what I want to do to develop my English and to get rid of the fear of speaking in English.
Thank you.

Hello Anomadassi,

The most important thing you can do is to speak English as often as possible. To do this a partner is very helpful, so think about the people you know and consider if any of them could be a practice partner for you. It may be that you know someone else who is also learning English and who would like to practise with you, or perhaps you know some people who do not speak your language but do speak English.

However, if you do not have a practice partner it does not mean that you cannot practise because it is possible to practise alone. Just speaking English to yourself while you are at home, going about your normal daily activities, can help a great deal with your fluency and can help you to feel more confident, which will help you to cut down your hesitating. 

You can also use the audio and video materials here on LearnEnglish to improve your fluency. After doing the exercises, try listening with the transcript (listening and reading). Then try saying the text yourself, and finally try saying it with (and at the same speed as) the recording. This will help you to develop speed in your speech, which is a key component of fluency. You'll also pick up a lot of language as chunks - words which are often used together in set phrases - which you can use to communicate with less hesitation.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I don't understand why it should use present perfect in the sentence bellow. It is one of the sentences used in "History Scene 2", an episode from your site.
"-I don't think you just go up Big Ben, said Tristan.
-You can if you've booked-said Stephen.
-Brilliant! I've always wanted to go up there!"
I understand why it's used Present Perfect Simple in the sentence" you can if you've booked"- it is something you've done in the past with consequences in the present- because you have booked tickets, you can visit Big ben.
Why it's used Present Perfect Simple in the sentence" I've always wanted to go up there"? Why not Present Simple- I always want to go there?
Thank you

Hello danaman,

Yes, the present perfect is used here for the reason you said: since you have booked tickets, you can visit Big Ben. The present perfect is used in sentences like 'I've always wanted to ...' because the wish began in the past and is still a wish we have now. The present perfect is used for just this sort of action, i.e. one that began in the past and continues in the present.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, teachers.
Please, if you could tell me the difference between (so far and yet) with respect to Present Perfect???

Hello Karzan_Camus,

With negative sentences we use 'yet' to mean 'up to this point in time' and 'so far' to mean 'at this point in the process'. In other words, 'so far' suggests that there is a process which has a particular length or expected conclusion. Often this distinction is not important, but in some contexts it is. For example, we use 'yet' when talking about our whole lives up to now:

I haven't been to Spain yet.

However, we would use 'so far' if there were a defined process, such as a trip around Europe in which a visit to Spain is likely:

I haven't been to Spain so far.

We don't use 'yet' with positive sentences, but we can use 'so far' when there is a sequence which will continue, but has not finished:

I've been to Spain three times so far. [...and I'll go there again]

I hope that helps to clarify it for you.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

What the difference between the following sentences:
The letter has received by John
The letter has been received by John
The letter is received by John
The letter was received by John

Thank you for your cooperation,