Present Perfect Tense


The Present Perfect is a common tense in English. You should understand it, and know it well.

What's next?

  1. Read and understand the following explanations and examples

  2. Read and understand the Rules

  3. Practice, practice, practice with the Exercises

Check out our new series of illustrated workbooks:
Stories and Exercises to Practice the Perfect Tenses

Stories and Exercises to Practice the Progressive Tenses


How do we use this tense?

PERFECT here means "complete, finished".

The Present Perfect is a form of the verb that shows the action was complete before the present.

It does not mean the action is "perfect" (100%). It means the action is finished.

Here are the different usages of this tense:


Make sure you also read:

Examples of Typical Time Expressions

Present Perfect Example Sentences

Simple Past or Present Perfect – Which Tense Should You Use?


Actions that happened at
an unspecified time before the present 

(The verbs are in bold)



He has learned how to ride a horse.

a guy on a horse playing polo




He has fixed the light.

a light bulb



They have called 5 times already.

a phone operator




She has bought a hat.

a woman with a hat



She has grown so much.

a school gril



She has become such a good secretary.

a nice secretary


He has never done it before.

this guy can't ski



Actions that ended recently



She has broken the vase.

a girl by a broken vase




He has just seen the news.

an upset fat man



He has already caught the ball.

a boy with a ball




She has bought some food for us.

a nice lady with some food


He has lost his clothes.

a man without clothes




States that started in the past,
and are still going on

Note: this is a broader use of this tense.
It is usually used with states, not actions.

He has been sick since Saturday.

a guy with high temperature




He has had this motorbike for 5 years.

a guy with a motorbike




He has always liked him.

a boy and an old man




They have lived here for a long time.

a big house


Examples of
Typical Time Expressions

Before the present Recently Up to now
ever recently since
never lately for
once already
3 times just
so far yet
before
in the last week
in the
previous year

Boy writing happily


What's Next?

  1. If you want, you can REREAD the previous explanations and examples.

  2. Read and understand the rules.

  3. Practice, practicepractice with the exercises.

  4. Read and practice with these stories and exercises.

Present Perfect Story 1



Who are they? What have they done? What has happened?

Linda has just walked outside with Grandmother. She wears an apron. So far, she has finished cleaning and washing. She has also gathered seeds and crumbs.

Now Linda and Grandmother are outside. Linda has just dropped some seeds on the ground to feed the birds. The birds have not come yet.

Recently, Grandmother has moved in with Linda's family. She now enjoys living with them.

Grandmother has already sat down on the bench. She also wears an apron. She has just finished cooking.

Grandmother and Linda wait for the birds. They have seen birds in the yard before. Grandmother has always liked to watch the birds. Linda has always liked to feed them.

Click here to download the worksheet: Present Perfect Story 1.


Present Perfect Story 2

Linda

Who is she? What has she done? What has happened?

Recently, it has snowed in Maria's town. In the last week, it has snowed three times. Maria has always loved the snow. She has played in the snow many times before.

Maria's dog, Sparky, has never played in the snow. This is Sparky's first snow. He has not felt the cold yet.

Maria has just received a new sled for Christmas. She puts on her warm clothes and snow boots. She pulls the sled up the hill. Sparky has run outside with Maria. Sparky has followed Maria up the hill. He feels good!

Maria has finally reached the top. She sits on her sled. She rides down the hill. Sparky runs beside the sled. They have finally reached the bottom. Sparky has followed Maria all the way down the hill. Sparky has decided that he likes the snow too!

Click here to download the worksheet: Present Perfect Story 2.

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