present perfect tense english


The present perfect tense in English is built around ‘have’ and ‘has,’ in addition to a past participle. Essentially, present perfect tense refers to describing an action that was done in the past, simply. Here are a few examples:

‘I have eaten at Chile’s.’  ‘have eaten’ is what makes this present perfect tense. I am not eating there now, and am not eating there in the future, but I have performed the action before.

Let’s try again:

Mike has lost his mobile phone.

They have been at the airport.

I have been to North Carolina.

The present perfect tense in English refers to something which happened in the past, but it doesn’t refer to exactly what time or when it happened. In this way, the sentence maintains a relationship with the present.

You have ran two marathons. First, good for you – that is quite impressive! But see how we made our point without referring to time or place. The only thing that matters is that the action is now completed.

I have left my wallet at the bodega. The important thing in this sentence is that I don’t have my wallet on me right now, but I had it in the past.

Here are a couple examples of how NOT to use the present perfect tense in English:

I have done overtime hours yesterday

In this case, we want to use the past simple tense:

(I worked overtime hours yesterday) would be the correct phrasing.

present perfect tense english

Thanks for reading and working on your language skills! There are a number of other style and pronunciation guides on our blog for you to check out. 

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