Published 10/08/2015 In Blog
The Present Perfect is a tense we use to talk about an action/event that took place in the past but the exact time is not important.
We form the Present Perfect with the auxiliary verb 'to have' + Past Participle.
Example: I have eaten an apple
She has been to India recently
They have read Harper Lee's new novel late
We can sometimes limit the experience we have had at some point in our lives before now with time expressions such as: in the last week, in the last month, so far, up to now, etc.
I have seen Mary three times in the last week
He has not spoken to his brother in the last month
They have not worked on his project so far
** Remember that last year is a time expression that we use with the Past Simple and it is different to in the last year, which requires the Present Perfect.
Last year means the year before now
In the last year means 365 days ago until now
Many students have difficulty understanding the concept of "unspecified time", so it is better to relate the Present Perfect with the following ideas:
1. We use the Present Perfect to talk about our EXPERIENCES:
I have been to Thailand three times
He has never been skiing
Has she ever been to China?
No, she has never been to China
Note that we never use the Present Perfect to talk about a specific event.
2. To talk about CHANGES!
The tree in the garden has grown so much since December
Michael has changed a lot in the past months
Doctors have developed a new drug against Alzheimers
My daughter has learned to walk
4. RECENTLY COMPLETED ACTIONS
I have just finished my homework
She has already read the book, so she wants to buy a new one
5. UNCOMPLETED ACTIONS THAT YOU ARE WAITING TO HAPPEN
Paul has not arrived yet
Susan has not finished her homework
Get additional practice by doing the activity on the Present Perfect that you will find on this blog: http://www.keelyalgarlanguages.com/en/blog/activities-past-simple-or-present-perfect
Hopefully this post will have helped to understand when and how we use the Present Perfect, but don't please hesitate contacting me if you still have any doubts at: firstname.lastname@example.org