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 Najid Ali,

The subject here is 'Their music'.

'Their' is a possessive adjective, not a noun. The noun is 'music'; together 'Their music' forms a noun phrase.

In your second sentence 'achieves' is a verb while 'means' is a noun. It is a plural form (see here).

You need to be able to recognise the type of word if you are understand the form it is in. 'Their' cannot be a subject because it is a possessive adjective; the noun form would be the pronoun 'they'. 'Means' is a noun, not a verb; 'achieves' is a verb, not a noun.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Their music has been preserved for the posterity.
Here in this sentence "Their" is plural and I have used the has and sentence is correct why?
Because normally we use "Have" with "Their".

Hello Najid Ali,

Music here is singular because it is an uncountable noun. Uncountable nouns do not occur in the plural form and always have a singular verb. Other examples:

His time is limited.

Their time is limited.

My money is in the bank.

Their money is in the bank.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir
Re: Present Perfect Tense
Thank you for your prompt reply. It is clear now. I went through both websites that you mentioned in your reply but I have a question. eg.The road is wet. (It is not raining now) It has been raining or it has rained
It has been raining. (Is this correct? It is a completed action so my question: Is it wrong to say It has rained?"
Andrew international

Hello Andrew international,

Both the continuous form ('has been raining') and the simple form ('has rained') are correct here. As the information on the first page Kirk linked shows, the difference between the two is one of emphasis: the continuous form emphasises the activity, while the simple form emphasises the result. The choice of which to use in this case is the speaker's.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir
Thank you very much. Now it is very clear.
Andrew international

Dear Sir
Would you be kind enough to explain this to me?
He has been living in London for ten years./ He has lived in London for ten years
I understand that both are correct; both mean at the moment(something that started in the past and continues) but it has been raining for hours. (means at the moment or may be not at the moment)
David has worked here for six years./ David has been working here for six years.
(both mean at the moment)
Please let me know.
Andrew international

Hello Andrew international,

We have a page that describes the difference between these two forms. The Cambridge Dictionary also has a page with more examples that might also be useful for you. If you have any specific questions after reading through those two pages, please let us know. Please describe what you understand to be the difference in any examples you give so we can see how you understand the sentences in question.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello there, as a low proficiency learner of English.I love reading the notes of grammar up English is so bad but I love learning this language.

I'm confusing about this sentence: "We have bought a new car this week".
But when you bought a new car, the action happened in the past and finished. You paid the money and went home. So why we use present perfect in this situation?