Present Perfect | Four Functions to Know

Present Perfect | Four Functions to Know

There are three functions/uses of the present perfect. Firstly, it is used to express an action that began in the past and continues to the present. Secondly, it is used to express life experience; whether something happened or never happened before now at an unspecified time in the past. Finally, it is used to express the repetition of an activity before now without paying attention to the time.

Present Perfect To Show Past Action That Influences The Present Condition

Present Perfect is used to talk about an action that began in the past that continues up to the present. Let’s see the following examples:

  • I have visited Santorini twice.
  • She has written 100 novels all her life.
  • I’ve had lunch. Now I’m full. I don’t need anything to eat.

Present Perfect To Show Life Experience

Present Perfect is also used to say whether or not we ever do certain things in our life (experience) . In this case we usually use ever or never. Let’s see the following examples:

  • I have never seen a ghost.
  • Have you ever eaten snakes?
  • My son has ever been to Reykjavik.

Present Perfect to Show Repetition

The following examples show the present perfect for repetition of an action.

  • Our family has had vaccination twice so far.
  • I have seen her many times.
  • He has won gold medals.

Present Perfect After Superlative

Present Perfect is generally used after superlative. Let’s see the following examples:

  • She’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen.
  • It’s the most expensive watch I’ve ever bought.

Present Perfect Pattern

Present Perfect is formed by: subject + have/has + the past participle. The past participle is mostly from Verb I (the infinitive) + d or ed. Let’s see the following tables:

Positive and Negative Sentences

I, you, they, we have

have not

verb III (past participle)
he, she, it has

has not

 

Questions

Have I, you, they, we verb III (past participle)?
Has he, she, it

 

 

 Verb I
(the infinitive)
 Verb III
the past participle
 Verb I
(the infinitive)
 Verb III
the past participle
 die
enjoy
invite
work
stop
 died
enjoyed
invited
worked
stopped
 arrive
walk
want
need
like
 arrived
walked
wanted
needed
liked

 

Present Perfect With Irregular Verbs

Some of the past participle we use in the Present Perfect Tense are irregular. They do not end in d or -ed. Let’s see the following table.

 Verb I
(the infinitive)
 Verb III
(Past Participle)
 Verb I
(the infinitive)
 Verb III
(Past Participle)
 buy
catch
get
go
leave
meet
 bought
caught
got
gone
left
met
 see
sell
take
teach
tear
tell
 seen
sold
taken
taught
torn
told

See more irregular verbs here.

Just, Already, Yet

We can use the Present Perfect with ‘just’ (a short time ago). Let’s see the following examples:

  • “Hello. Have you just arrived?”
  • “Are you hungry?” “No. I’ve just had hamburger.”

We use ‘already’  in the Present Perfect to say that something has happened sooner than expected. Let’s see the following examples:

  • “Can you close the door for me, Dear?” “I’ve already closed it.
  • “Why don’t see a doctor?” “I’ve already seen a doctor. But, I feel worse.”

We use ‘yet’ in the Present Perfect questions and negative sentences to say that we expect something to happen. Let’s see the following examples:

  • “Have they stopped fighting yet?”
  • I haven’t told them about the accident yet.

Typical Mistakes

Many people have made mistakes in using ‘been’ and ‘gone’ in the Present Perfect. They have mixed them up. Let’s see the difference now.

  • Our neighbors are on vacation now. They have gone to Caribbean Countries. (They are not here. Maybe they are on the way or they may be there.)
  • Bob is back in Miami now. He has been to Italy. ( He was in Italy but now he has come back.)

Present Perfect Exercises

Exercise I A

Write T in the parentheses if the present perfect is correct and F if it is wrong.

  1. I have seen that movie last Sunday. (    )
  2. Have you had breakfast this morning? (   )
  3. Jack and Jane has just bought a new house. (   )
  4. I’ve never seen this animal before. (   )
  5. How long has John’s brothers waited for him?
  6. I haven’t got anything to eat. (   )
  7. Where have you been yesterday?
  8. We have met recently. (   )
  9. I haven’t sang the song lately. (    )
  10. I’ve been here many times. (    )

Exercise I B

In this exercise you have to put the right verb in each sentence. Make sure you change the verb into the correct Present Perfect form.

  1. I …just (have) lunch. I’m full now.
  2.  …you (see) Brian anywhere?
  3. Bob (give up) smoking. Now he looks more healthy.
  4. They …just (get) married. They’re always together.
  5. “Why is your finger bleeding?” “I …just (cut) my finger.”
  6. You (meet) John? Oh, hello. Nice to see you, John.
  7. How long has she (know) George? Since she was five.
  8. Our country (collect) ten gold medals so far.
  9. Where have you (be)?
  10. I (write) this post for two hours.
  11. IU always (create) a lot of romantic songs.
  12. How long you (have) this iPhone?
  13. Johnny (study) Spanish for three years.
  14. How many books you (buy)?
  15. How long you (be) here?

 

Exercise II

In this exercises you have to write sentences with  already. Let’s see the following example first!

  • Don’t forget to close the window. …………………….  I’ve already closed it.

1. Why don’t you have breakfast first! ………………………
2. Can you tell her about the accident? …………………….
3. Don’t forget to email her! ………………………………….
4. Would you like something to drink? ………………………
5. Shall I pay the waiter? No, I ……………………………..

Exercise III

In this exercises you have to put  been or gone in the right sentence.

1. Ben isn’t here at the moment.  He’s …. to the shop.
2. Knock Knock! I’ve just …to the market. Look! I’ve bought lots of fruits for you dear.
3. Are you going to Oslo for your next vacation? No, I’ve … there three times.
4. Have you ever … to Bali?
5. Is your boyfriend here ? No, he’s … somewhere.

Answers

Exercise I A

  1. F 2. F 3. F 4. T 5. F 6. T 7. F 8. T 9. F 10. T

Exercise I B

  1. I have just had lunch. I’m full now.
  2.  Have you seen Brian anywhere?
  3. Bob has given up smoking. Now he looks more healthy.
  4. They have just got married. They’re always together.
  5. “Why is your finger bleeding?” “I have just cut my finger.”
  6. Have you met John? Oh, hello. Nice to see you, John.
  7. How long has she known George? Since she was five.
  8. Our country has collected ten gold medals so far.
  9. Where have you been?
  10. I have written this post for two hours.
  11. IU has always created a lot of romantic songs.
  12. How long you have you had this iPhone?
  13. Johnny has studied Spanish for three years.
  14. How many books have you bought?
  15. How long have you been here?

 

Exercise II

  1. I’ve already had breakfast.
  2. Yes, I’ve already told her.
  3. I’ve already emailed her.
  4. I’ve already drunk something.
  5. No, I’ve already paid him.

Exercise III

  1. He’s gone to the shop.
  2. I’ve just been to the market.
  3. No, I’ve been there three times.
  4. Have you ever been to Bali?
  5. No, he’s gone somewhere.

Download the exercise here.



Other Exercises

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