Can the present be perfect?
Say hello to Zach, one of our English teachers, who is here to explain everything you need to know about the present perfect tense.
In part one, Zach covers the construction of the tense and goes through some examples. Check out the video below, and scroll down for the second installment.
the subject + have (auxiliary verb) + the past participle.
For regular verbs forming the past participle is easy, we just add -ed at the end.
I have worked all week.
She has talked all afternoon.
However, we know that not all verbs are regular verbs. Some are irregular, too.
Let’s look at 3 irregular verbs.
Be which becomes been
Meet which becomes met
And eat eat becomes eaten
Notice how these verbs don’t end in -ed?
Let’s put these verbs into some present perfect sentences.
I have been shopping.
We have met before.
She has eaten all her dinner.
The Present Perfect Tense: Part Two!
Now let’s look at some examples of when we should use the present perfect tense.
To talk about something that started in the past and continues in the present.
We have lived here all our lives. → The present perfect helps us highlight the link between the past and the present situation.
To talk about something we have done many times in the past and we continue to do now.
I have played football since I was 4 years old. → and I still play it now.
When we do not know the precise time something happened. Or it’s not important.
I have been to Spain. → We haven’t been exact about when, but it happened.
Remember: actions or states expressed with the present perfect might refer to the past but they also relate to the present moment. That’s a lot to take in… and there’s much more we can explain about this perfect tense!
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