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.




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,

Hello Kak Serwan Sheran,

The first sentence is incorrect.

The second sentence is an example of a present perfect passive form.

The third sentence is an example of a present simple passive form.

The fourth sentence is an example of a past simple passive form.

You can find descriptions of all these forms, their meanings and their uses on the relevant grammar pages (see the links on the right of this page). Please take a look and tell us your understanding of the differences; then we will comment and let you know if you have understood correctly.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Pease tell us if this sentence is correct or not

Dear All,

Please find the attached file related to Variation Order No 0068, which has signed by Mr. Özel.

Thank you for your time,

Hello Kak Serwan Sheran,

The last part of the sentence should read '...which has been signed by...' (a passive construction).

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Teacher,

Kindly help me to understand the exact meaning of below sentences.

"I have signed labour contract with company" and "I signed labour contract with company".

I know about verb form of them but I don't understand the exact meaning of them and how to use.

Thanks so much for your help.

Hello Peter,

The verb form in the first sentence is the present perfect, and the verb form in the second one is the past simple. I'd suggest you read our pages on those two forms, and also watch the video on the Word on the Street Transport and Travel Scene 2 Language Focus page, where Rob discusses this topic.

If you have any further questions after that, please let us know.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi teacher,

Is this sentence correct "Ali doesn’t have Ferrari."

Hello Imran Baig,

If you're talking about a car then you need the indefinite article:

Ali doesn't have a Ferrari.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team