Present perfect

Present perfect

Do you know how to use phrases like She's called every day this week, I've broken my leg and Have you ever been to Scotland? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

Look at these examples to see how the present perfect is used.

He's been to ten different countries.
I haven't seen her today.
My phone's run out of battery. Can I use yours?
Have you ever dyed your hair a different colour?

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar test 1

Present perfect: Grammar test 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

We use the present perfect simple (have or has + past participle) to talk about past actions or states which are still connected to the present.

Unfinished time and states

We often use the present perfect to say what we've done in an unfinished time period, such as today, this week, this year, etc., and with expressions such as so far, until now, before, etc.

They've been on holiday twice this year.
We haven't had a lot of positive feedback so far.
I'm sure I've seen that film before.

We also use it to talk about life experiences, as our life is also an unfinished time period. We often use never in negative sentences and ever in questions.

I've worked for six different companies.
He's never won a gold medal.
Have you ever been to Australia?

We also use the present perfect to talk about unfinished states, especially with for, since and how long.

She's wanted to be a police officer since she was a child.
I haven't known him for very long.
How long have you had that phone?

Finished time and states

If we say when something happened, or we feel that that part of our life is finished, we use the past simple.

We visited Russia for the first time in 1992.
I went to three different primary schools.
Before she retired, she worked in several different countries.

We also use the past simple for finished states.

We knew all our neighbours when we were children.
I didn't like bananas for a really long time. Now I love them!

Past actions with a result in the present

We can use the present perfect to talk about a past action that has a result in the present.

He's broken his leg so he can't go on holiday.
There's been an accident on the main road, so let's take a different route.
They haven't called me, so I don't think they need me today.

Again, if we say when it happened, we use the past simple.

He broke his leg last week so he can't go on holiday.

However, we often use the present perfect with words like just, recently, already, yet and still.

We've recently started going to the gym.
She's already finished season one and now she's watching season two.
Have you checked your emails yet?

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar test 2

Present perfect: Grammar test 2

Language level

Average: 4.1 (60 votes)

Hello KabirPoya,

I understand your sentences easily.

Depending on the situation, I might suggest one thing or another, but in general I'd suggest using the active voice instead of the passive ('you and my manager have exchanged emails about this matter') and we say 'do a task' or 'complete a task' instead of 'make a task'.

All the best,
Kirk
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Khangvo2812 on Tue, 06/02/2024 - 18:09

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Hello,
I’m studying my major, then should I decided to choose this major or I’ve decided to?

Hello Khangvo2812,

It depends how see the decision. If you see it as news or closely related with the time of speaking, 'I've decided'. If not, then 'I decided'.

Best wishes,
Kirk
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Darelia_1325 on Fri, 02/02/2024 - 20:44

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Hi!
I just have a question in this phrase:
Mental health has recently been identified as a serious public health concern.

Is it active or passive voice?

Hi Darelia_1325,

It's passive. The passive form is "be" + past participle. Here, "be" is in the present perfect form "has been", and the past participle is "identified".

The active voice would be something like this: People have recently identified mental health as a serious public concern.

I hope that helps.

Jonathan

LearnEnglish team

Profile picture for user JERRY ELEVEN

Submitted by JERRY ELEVEN on Fri, 02/02/2024 - 13:51

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Good lesson, I loved.

Submitted by Khangvo2812 on Tue, 30/01/2024 - 08:23

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Should I say who has created this mess or did this mess when I walk into a room and see the mess?

Submitted by Khangvo2812 on Sat, 27/01/2024 - 12:27

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After arriving late, should I say sorry I’m late. How long have you been waiting for me or how long did you wait for me?

Hello Khangvo2812,

Both are grammatically correct but I think the progressive form (have you been waiting) is better since the activity continued up to the moment of arrival (effectively, up to the moment of speaking). The past simple (did you wait) is the form we would use if we had not arrived at all and then spoken to the person later on to apologise.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team