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It’s a Perfect World – Present Perfect Simple tense

It’s a Perfect World – Present Perfect Simple tense

In English language there is an interesting way of speaking about consequences we can see of events which happened in unspecified past, or life experiences or announcing the news… We use the Present Perfect Simple tense, which works like a bridge, connecting past events, states with the presence:


Use the Present Perfect for:

1) Life experiences in the past.

We don’t say when these happened: we are interested in the experience, not the time or date. We often use ever and never.

  • I’ve seen all Tarantino’s films.
  • Have you ever eaten sushi? – Yes, I have. / No, I haven’t.

2) Recent past actions that are important now.

  • Oh no! I’ve left my wallet on the bus.
  • The president has resigned.

3) Past situations that are still happening now.

We often use how long with for (throughout a period of time) and since (from a point in the past until now) and we describe the duration of an activity or state:


  • I haven’t seen Jenny this morning. (It is still this morning.)
  • How long have you known Mitya? – I’ve known him for two years.
  • Jack’s been in Italy since January.

4) With just, already, yet to talk about recent events and completed actions in the past. The exact time is not important. Use just and already mainly in positive sentences. Use yet in negatives and questions.

  • I’ve just finished my work. Let’s go out.
  • Can you feed the cat? – I’ve already fed it.
  • We can still watch the film.It hasn’t started yet.
  • Have you done your English homework yet.?
For positive sentences, the form is subject + have/has + past participle. Make negatives with not and change the word order to make questions
  • I’ve finished the report.
  • Jack has been in Italy since January.
  • We’ve just come back from Germany.
  • I haven’t seen Jenny this morning.
  • How long has Mike known Mitya?
Past Participle forms ( III column in the irregular verbs table):

Note: Use the Past Simple for completed actions in the past.

  • I saw Jenny yesterday.
  • Peter moved to Saudi Arabia in 2011.
  • Natasha didn’t want to have another piece of cake.
  • When did you see Alex?

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