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PRESENT PERFECT

DEFINITION OF THE PRESENT PERFECT TENSE


The present perfect is used to indicate a link between the present and the past. The time of the action is
before now but not specified, and we are often more interested in the result than in the action itself.

BE CAREFUL! There may be a verb tense in your language with a similar form, but the meaning is
probably NOT the same.

THE PRESENT PERFECT IS USED TO DESCRIBE

 An action or situation that started in the past and continues in the present. I have lived in Bristol since
1984 (= and I still do.)
 An action performed during a period that has not yet finished. She has been to the cinema twice this
week (= and the week isn't over yet.)
 A repeated action in an unspecified period between the past and now. We have visited Portugal
several times.
 An action that was completed in the very recent past, expressed by 'just'. I have just finished my
work.
 An action when the time is not important. He has read 'War and Peace'. (= the result of his reading is
important)

Note: When we want to give or ask details about when, where, who, we use the simple past. Read more
about choosing between the present perfect and the simple past tenses.

ACTIONS STARTED IN THE PAST AND CONTINUING IN THE PRESENT

 They haven't lived here for years.


 She has worked in the bank for five years.
 We have had the same car for ten years.
 Have you played the piano since you were a child?

WHEN THE TIME PERIOD REFERRED TO HAS NOT FINISHED

 I have worked hard this week.


 It has rained a lot this year.
 We haven't seen her today.

ACTIONS REPEATED IN AN UNSPECIFIED PERIOD BETWEEN THE PAST AND NOW.

 They have seen that film six times


 It has happened several times already.
 She has visited them frequently.
 We have eaten at that restaurant many times.

ACTIONS COMPLETED IN THE VERY RECENT PAST (+JUST)

 Have you just finished work?


 I have just eaten.
 We have just seen her.
 Has he just left?

WHEN THE PRECISE TIME OF THE ACTION IS NOT IMPORTANT OR NOT KNOWN

 Someone has eaten my soup!


 Have you seen 'Gone with the Wind'?
 She's studied Japanese, Russian, and English.

Read more about using the present perfect with the words "ever", "never", "already", and "yet", and about
using the present perfect with the words "for" and "since".

FORMING THE PRESENT PERFECT


The present perfect of any verb is composed of two elements : the appropriate form of the auxiliary verb to
have (present tense), plus the past participle of the main verb. The past participle of a regular verb is
base+ed, e.g. played, arrived, looked. For irregular verbs, see the Table of irregular verbs in the section
called 'Verbs'.

Affirmative

Subject to have past participle

She has visited.

Negative

Subject to have + not past participle

She has not (hasn't) visited.

Interrogative

to have subject past participle

Has she visited?

Negative interrogative
to have + not subject past participle

Hasn't she visited?

TO WALK, PRESENT PERFECT

Affirmative Negative Interrogative

I have walked I haven't walked Have I walked?

You have walked You haven't walked. Have you walked?

He, she, it has walked He, she, hasn't walked Has he, she, it walked?

We have walked We haven't walked Have we walked?

You have walked You haven't walked Have you walked?

They have walked They haven't walked Have they walked?

VERBS

Selecting the correct verb tense and conjugating verbs correctly is tricky in English. Click on the verb tense
to read more about how to form this tense and how it is used, or select a time to see the full list of tenses
and references on that time.

Present Tenses in English Examples

Simple present tense They walk home.

Present continuous tense They are walking home.

Past Tenses in English

Simple past tense Peter lived in China in 1965.

Past continuous tense I was reading when she arrived.

Perfect Tenses in English


Present Tenses in English Examples

Present perfect tense I have lived here since 1987.

Present perfect continuous I have been living here for years.

Past perfect We had been to see her several times before she visited us.

Past perfect continuous He had been watching her for some time when she turned and
smiled.

Future perfect We will have arrived in the States by the time you get this letter.

Future perfect continuous By the end of your course, you will have been studying for five
years.

Future Tenses in English

Simple future tense They will go to Italy next week.

Future continuous tense I will be travelling by train.

Conditional Tenses in
English

Zero conditional If ice gets hot it melts.

Type 1 conditional If he is late I will be angry.

Type 2 conditional If he was in Australia he would be getting up now.

Type 3 conditional She would have visited me if she had had time.

Mixed conditional I would be playing tennis if I hadn't broken my arm.

The -ing forms in English

Gerund I like swimming.


Present Tenses in English Examples

Present participle She goes running every morning.

Infinitives

Passive voice

Present perfect continuous

Formación del "present perfect continuous"


El "present perfect continuous" está compuesto por dos elementos: el "present perfect" del verbo 'to be'
(have/has been) y el "present participle" del verbo principal (raíz+ing)

Sujeto has/have been raíz+ing

She has been swimming

Afirmativa: She has been / She's been running.


Negativa: She hasn't been running.
Interrogativa : Has she been running?
Interrogativa negativa: Hasn't she been running?

Ejemplo: "present perfect continuous", TO LIVE

Afirmativa Negativa Interrogativa

I have been living I haven't been living Have I been living?

You have been living You haven't been living Have you been living?

He, she, it has been living He hasn't been living Has she been living?

We have been living We haven't been living Have we been living?

You have been living You haven't been living Have you been living?

They have been living They haven't been living Have they been living?

Funciones del "present perfect continuous"


El "present perfect continuous" se refiere a un periodo temporal inespecífico situado entre el pasado y el
presente. El hablante se refiere a algo que empezó y que puede no haber concluido en ese periodo de
tiempo. Le interesa tanto el proceso como el resultado, y es posible que dicho proceso acabe de
terminar o que aún no haya finalizado.

Acciones iniciadas en el pasado y que continúan ocurriendo en el presente


She has been waiting for you all day (= todavía está esperando).
I've been working on this report since eight o'clock this morning (= todavía no lo he terminado).
They have been travelling since last October (= todavía no han vuelto).

Acciones que acaban de concluir y de las que nos interesan sus resultados
She has been cooking since last night (= y la comida preparada tiene un aspecto delicioso).
It's been raining (= y las calles aún están mojadas).
Someone's been eating my chips (= quedan la mitad).

Verbos sin formas progresivas


Con verbos que no suelen utilizar la forma progresiva, empleamos el "present perfect". Por ejemplo: I've
wanted to visit China for years.
She's known Robert since she was a child.
I've hated that music since I first heard it.
I've heard a lot about you recently.
We've understood everything.
we've heard this morning.