The present perfect is formed from the present tense of the verb have and the past participle of a verb.
We use the present perfect:
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.
- when we are talking about our experience up to the present:
I've seen that film before.
I've played the guitar ever since I was a teenager.
He has written three books and he is working on another one.
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.
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 in the present:
I can't get in the house. I've lost my keys.
Teresa isn't at home. I think she has gone shopping.
have been and have gone
We use have/has been 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's Maria? I haven't seen her for weeks.
B: She's gone to Paris for a week. She'll be back tomorrow.
- have been and have gone
Present perfect with time adverbials
We often use the present perfect with adverbials which refer to the recent past:
Scientists have recently discovered a new breed of monkey.
We have just got back from our holidays.
or adverbials which include the present:
so far until now up to now
Have you ever seen a ghost?
Where have you been up to now?
A: Have you finished your homework yet?
B: No, so far I've only done my history.
After a clause with the present perfect we often use a clause with since to show when something started in the past:
I've worked here since I left school.
I've been watching that programme every week since it started.
- Present perfect with time adverbials 1
- Present perfect with time adverbials 2
|We do not use the present perfect with adverbials which refer to a finished past time:|
|but we can use the present perfect with adverbials which refer to a time which is not yet finished:|
- Present perfect and past simple 1
- Present perfect and past simple 2
Present perfect continuous
The present perfect continuous is formed with have/has been and the -ing form of the verb.
We normally use the present perfect continuous to emphasise that something is still continuing in the present:
She has been living in Liverpool all her life.
It's been raining for hours.
I'm tired out. I've been working all day.
They have been staying with us since last week.
We do not normally use the present perfect continuous with stative verbs. We use the present perfect simple instead:
been likingliked John.
- Present perfect continuous 1
- Present perfect continuous 2
Present perfect for future
I'll keep looking until I find my book.
We'll begin when everyone arrives.
but we can also use the present perfect:
I'll keep looking until I have found my book.
We'll begin when everyone has arrived.