Learn Present Perfect Tense (English Grammar)

The PRESENT PERFECT tense is have/has + the past participle form of a verb.
I have just eaten lunch so I’m not hungry.
We use it to describe new information or an action that is related to now.
Erica’s contact lens has fallen out. Let’s help her find it.
Erica has lost a contact. Let’s help her find it.
– Erica doesn’t have her contact lens. This just happened. [now]
I have lived in Japan since 2006.
– I moved to Japan in 2006 and I still live here. [now]
Have you been to the new cafe on Front Street? I heard it’s really good.
– This sentence is talking about the time from when the cafe opened until now.
Learn Present Perfect Tense

Learn Present Perfect Tense

This post was made for ESL students who want to learn Present Perfect Tense grammar. This grammar is important and can be confusing for people learning English as a second language.

The way that English grammar is taught to ESL students is not the way I learned English grammar as a child in Canada. This is not always bad, but I want to make learning English grammar fun. 

At least MORE fun than how it is taught in most textbooks. 

My experience as an English teacher and a language student (Japanese) has shown me that grammar rules are only helpful if students can see them used in real examples. Examples can be interesting, current (talking about things that are happening in the world now) and they can be shown with fun images and infographics. 

Your desire to improve your English and my creative teaching method is the perfect combination. Now let’s understand Present Perfect Tense!

Learn Present Perfect English grammar

This verb tense is called the present perfect, but it is still talking about a past action. The auxiliary verb to have will be used in the present tense.

The present perfect tense is have/has + the past participle form of a verb. For regular verbs (verbs whose past tense ends with _ed) the past tense and the past participle are the same.

presentpastpast participle
dropdroppeddropped
locklockedlocked
workworkedworked

Irregular verbs in English don’t follow this pattern.

presentpastpast participle
gowentgone
eatateeaten
setsetset

The only way to remember these irregular verb forms is to memorize them. The best way to memorize them is to use them and listen to them. In this blog post, I will use irregular verbs in their past participle form in many of the example sentences. This is a great way to help you remember them.

You can find more natural examples of the past participle in my blog post on the Passive Voice HERE.

Learn Present perfect tense - Examples
Present Perfect Tense examples

Learn Present perfect tense – Examples

There is an ambulance and two police cars in front of the post office. I think there has been an accident. (BEEN is the past participle of the verb TO BE)

The accident has made everyone more careful when crossing the street. (MADE is the past participle of the verb TO MAKE)

The number of car accidents in the city has gone up this year. (GONE UP is the past participle of the phrasal verb GO UP)

The city government has added 25 traffic light cameras this year to catch drivers who speed. (ADDED is the past participle of the verb TO ADD)

All these examples have an effect on the present moment, a result now. 

  • The accident is causing a scene in front of the post office now.
  • People are now being more careful when they cross the street.
  • More car accidents are happening now than last year.
  • There are now 25 more traffic cameras in the city.
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More examples

Mom: I have to work late tonight so please order a pizza for dinner. I’ve left some money on the kitchen counter. (LEFT is the past participle of the verb TO LEAVE)

My brother Harry broke my Nintendo Switch. He said it was an accident, but he has done it twice! (DONE is the past participle of the verb TO DO)

The teacher has chosen three students to help plan the field trip. (CHOSEN is the past participle of the verb TO CHOOSE)

We don’t need any more wine for the party. I have already bought four bottles, I think that’s enough. (BOUGHT is the past participle of the verb TO BUY)

My team has won 5 of their last 6 games. We’re playing great! (WON is the past participle of the verb TO WIN)

Present Perfect negative

This project is due tomorrow and I haven’t even started! (STARTED is the past participle of the verb TO START)

A: Did you get an invitation to Roger’s party next week?
B: No, but no one has. He hasn’t sent them out yet. (SENT is the past participle of the verb TO SEND)
A: He’s busy at work, I guess he hasn’t had time. (HAD is the past participle of the verb TO HAVE)

A: Helen and Gary said that our manager Will is going to transfer to head office. Is that true?
B: I don’t know. I haven’t heard anything. (HEARD is the past participle of the verb TO HEAR)

Present Perfect questions

I left my coffee mug on the table but now it’s gone. Have you seen it? (SEEN is the past participle of the verb TO SEE)

Has anyone driven an electric car yet? My friend bought a Tesla roadster last week and he loves it. (DRIVEN is the past participle of the verb TO DRIVE)

A: Don’t forget to take out the trash.
B: I’ve already taken it out. (TAKEN is the past participle of the verb TO TAKE)

*Here is a common English question you may have heard before.
Have you ever been to ______?”

The past participle of the verb TO GO is gone, but if we talk about a visit, a trip or vacation to someplace where we have gone and come back, we use the past participle of the verb TO BE.

I have been to Brazil.

Have you ever been to to Hawaii? [Have you gone to Hawaii and come back?]

Has Clark been to the new pizza restaurant yet? He loves pizza.

We use gone if the person hasn’t come back yet. They went somewhere and stayed.

Compare been and gone

Clark has been to the new pizza restaurant 3 times this week! [He has been there and come back three times.]

A: Is Clark here?
B: He’s gone to the new pizza restaurant. [He is at the restaurant now.] *He’s is the contraction for he has.

Have/Has as the main verb

Have/has can also be the main verb in a perfect tense sentence. The past participle form of have/has is had.

No more pizza for me please. I have already had 6 slices!

Ian has had a cold for 5 days. I hope he feels better soon.

Negative 

I need to go to bed soon. I can’t focus at work if I haven’t had enough sleep.

Quinton is cranky if he hasn’t had his nap.

Question

A: Shall I order another pizza?
B: No more for me thanks. I’ve had enough

Has everyone had enough pizza?

Has everyone had enough pizza?

Thanks to Wikipedia for help with this grammar.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Present_perfect

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Learn Present perfect tense

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