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.





May I say "I don't want to have worked here for 5 year, because of minimum wage" or I must say "I don't want to work here for 5 years, because....."?

Hello ivarsps,

I'm not sure what you are trying to say so it's difficult to say how you should say it. Please explain the situation you want to describe. Are you working at the place now or not? Are you talking about the present or the future?


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Ok. I will try. For example, I have been working for company for 2 years, but I do not want (to) have worked for 5 years....
Hopefully it helped to catch the idea...

Hello ivarsps,

Thank you - that clarifies it for me. The best way to express this would be as follows:

I've worked here for two years but I don't want to stay another three.

I don't want to still be here in three years' time.


It is possible to use the form you suggested:

In three years' time I don't want to have worked here for five years.

However, the options above would be much more likely in standard English.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Their music has been preserved for the posterity
Here in this sentence "Their" is the subject I think.
and another question is
This he achieves by means of words which should act as symbols of his experience so that it can be properly represented to the reader.
Here is this sentence we use "s" with achieves but why we use "s" with means?

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