The present perfect tense

English grammar (See all)

Want to improve your English? Test our online English lessons for free!

The present perfect tense

Construction of the present perfect: auxiliary verb have + past participle.
I have lost my keys.
Bruno has decided to take a break.

We use the present perfect when:

•  The action occurs in an unfinished time period:
I haven't seen him lately. I haven't seen him recently.
Everything has been alright so far. Everything has been alright up to now.

Sometimes the present perfect is used in the progressive form:
How long have you been living in San Francisco? - I have been living here for 10 years (or since 1999). Since when have you lived in San Francisco? I've lived here for 10 years (or since 1999).

•  The action is finished and we want to emphasize this fact, or it is still relevant to the present moment:
He's (or He has) done his work. He has finished or completed his work.

Note : When there is an adverb (such as never, always, etc.), this is always placed between the auxiliary verb and the past participle:
I have never been to San Francisco.
Susie has always dreamed of working in PR.


Still having difficulties with 'The present perfect tense'? Want to improve your English? Test our online English lessons and receive a free level assessment!


Do you have smart way of remembering this rule? A tip to avoid making a mistake on 'The present perfect tense'? Share it with us!