Present Perfect Tense

We use the perfect tense when the actions just happened, when we talk about repeated actions that happened lately, actions of undetermined time and when we use superlative forms.

We can use the following expressions of undetermined time:

  • lately
  • nowadays
  • in this month
  • recently
  • in the last few years
  • during this week
  • etc.

The auxiliary verb for this tense is “to have” conjugated according to the pronoun that we use as a subject.


 Uncontracted Form
 Contracted Form Negative Form
I have not. 
You have not.
He has not. 
She has not. 
It has not. 
We have not. 
You have not. 
They have not. 
  • I’ve lost my key. 
  • We’ve eaten in that restaurant three times this week. 
  • This is the best movie I’ve ever seen. 
  • She says that she’s studied English before. 
  • I haven’t seen George for a couple of days. 
  • We’ve done a lot of progress in the last few days. 
  • He has done that before. 

The grammar structure is as follows:

Subject + Auxiliary Verb + Verb in Past Participle + Complement

  • I have lost my wallet. 
  • You have seen that man before. 
  • He has won the contest. 
  • She has moved to the coast. 
  • It has rained a lot lately. 
  • We have talked too much. 
  • You have drunk too many bottles of wine. 
  • They have gone to the movies. 

For the questions the structure changes and we have to use some words that emphasize the questions, the affirmative answers and the negative answers.

They are:

  • Ever, yet (for questions only)
  • Never, yet (negative answers only)
  • Already (negative answers only)
  • Just (emphasizes the statements)

The grammar structure for the questions is as follows:
Auxiliary Verb + Subject + Verb in Past Participle + Complement + Question Mark

  • Have you ever been to France? 
  • Yes, I have already been to France. 
  • Yes, I’ve just been to France. 
  • Yes, I have. 
  • No, I have not been to France yet. 
  • No, I have never been to France. 
  • No, I haven’t. 
  • Have you ever seen a ghost? 
  • Yes, I have. 
  • No, I haven’t. 
  • No, I have never seen a ghost. 
  • Have you seen that movie yet? 
  • Yes, I have already seen it. 
  • Yes, I’ve just seen it. 
  • No, I haven’t seen that movie yet. 
  • Has she ever flown by plane? 
  • Yes, she has. 
  • No, she hasn’t. 
  • No, she has never flown by plane. 
  • Has the concert started yet? 
  • Yes, the concert has already started. 
  • Yes, it’s just started. 
  • No, it hasn’t started yet. 
  • Have your parents ever had a party for all their friends? 
  • Yes, they have. 
  • No, they haven’t. 
  • No, they have never had a party for all their friends. 
  • Have they finished the report yet? 
  • Yes, they have already finished the report. 
  • Yes, they’ve just finished the report. 
  • No, they haven’t finished the report yet. 
  • Have you ever eaten sushi? 
  • Yes, I have. 
  • No, I haven’t. 
  • No, I have never eaten sushi. 

We can also use the words “since” and “for“. We use “since” with the starting date. We use “for” with period of time.

  • I have had my car since 1992. 
  • I have had my car for six years.
  • She has studied English since January 1st, 1994. 
  • She has studied English for five years.