Home / English Lessons / Present Perfect Verb Tense | English Grammar Lesson

Present Perfect Verb Tense | English Grammar Lesson

This lesson is part of the series on Verbs in English:

  1. Simple Past Verb Tense (Grammar + Pronunciation)
  2. Present Perfect Verb Tense (Grammar + Pronunciation)
  3. Present Perfect Continuous Verb Tense (Grammar + Pronunciation)
  4. Past Perfect Verb Tense (Grammar + Pronunciation)
  5. Future Verb Tense: “will”, “going to”, “gonna” (Grammar + Pronunciation)

Listen to the audio:

…or watch the video!:

English has several ways to talk about the past. Most commonly, we use two verb tenses. The:

  1. simple past verb tense; or
  2. present perfect verb tense.

 

Simple Past Verb Tense

We use the simple past verb tense when we talk about:

  • a past action that
  • started and ended.

These simple past verbs typically (though not always) have an -ed ending.

Example

  • “I walked to school today.”

Here, I used the simple past verb “walked” because the action of “walking to school” had a distinct beginning and end.

However, what if I had said…

  • “I have walked to school before.”

Here, the listener doesn’t know exactly when I walked to school. It was just some time in the general past. It could have been last week or it could have been two years ago!

Rule: Present Perfect Verb Tense

We use the present perfect verb tense instead of the simple past when:

  1. we talk about something that happened in a non-specific, general time in the past; and
  2. this action may have some connection, continuation or significance to the present.

Form

To form the present perfect verb tense, use the present tense of “have”:

[have/has] + [negative] + [past participle of verb]

Example

  • “He has developed several mobile apps already.”

Note that when speaking, Native English speakers will often de-stress (delete the “h” in) or contract the verb “have” or “has” and attach it to the subject before it to speak with greater efficiency and music.

How to Contract and De-stress the Verb “Have” or “Has”

  • “I have” –> “I’ve” or [aiyəv]
  • “You have” –> “you’ve” or [yuwəv]
  • “He has” –> “he’s” or  [hiyəz]
  • “She has” –> “she’s” or  [ʃiyəz]
  • “It has” –> “it’s” or [ɪtəz]
  • “We have” –> “we’ve” or [wiyəv]
  • “They have” –> “they’ve” or [ðeyəv]

Got it?

Let’s practice.

Notice that the present perfect verb tense is often used with the time words, “already”, “yet”, “still”.

Listen and Repeat

  • “I have never been to New York, but I’ve always wanted to go!”
  • “She has always been a good student.”
  • “We have wanted to buy a new house for a long time.”
  • “He has already studied two foreign languages.”
  • “They still haven’t interviewed my mother about the new position.”
  • “I have worked at this company for 17 years.”
  • Haven’t you done your homework yet?” (Notice how the [t] + [y] –> “ch” [tʃ]).

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Elemental English podcast on iTunes.

And if this lesson was helpful to you, feel free to share it with friends and family on Facebook and Twitter

ElementalEnglish.com is your resource for free English language and pronunciation lessons, 無料オンライン英語教材, 免费在线英文课程, 免費在線英文課程, मुफ़्त ऑनलाइन अंग्रेज़ी, آنلائن مفت میں انگریزی سیکھئے, Kostenloser Englisch-Unterricht Online, Język angielski online, Học tiếng anh miễn phí, Libreng Pag-aaral ng Wikang Ingles sa Internet, Libreng Pag-aaral ng Wikang Ingles Online, دروس في اللغة الانجليزية على الانترنت مجانا, Lecciones gratuitas de Ingles Americano, cursuri online gratis de limba engleza, เรียนภาษาอังกฤษออนไลน์ ฟรี, American English pronunciation, アメリカ英語の発音, 纯正美语发音, 純正美語發音, अमरीकी अंग्रेज़ी, امریکی انگریزی کا تلفّظ سیکھئے, Amerikanisches Englisch Aussprache, wymowa język angielski, Học tiếng anh miễn phí, Wastong Pagbigkas ng American English sa Internet, astong Pagbigkas ng, تعلم اللهجة الامريكية على الانترنت, American English Online, Pronunciacion de Ingles Americano en linea, pronuntie engleza americana online, บทเรียน การออกเสียงภาษาอังกฤษ สำหรับคนไทย

9 comments

  1. When I studied this lesson at school, I have learned that we use this tense with events that happened in non-specific time in the past.
    But I don’t know that it has continuation to the present. So, I confused this tense with the simple past. I can’t see the difference! 
    This lesson is an eye-opener 
    Thanks a lot.

  2. can you wait me with gammmar please

  3. As always, very helpful, Larissa. Hope you make a video of this one, as well.
    Greetings from sunny Rio!
    Best, MB

Leave a Reply

WordPress spam blocked by CleanTalk.