The Present Perfect

FORM: has / have + Past Participle

The main verb in the present perfect verb phrase takes the past participle form. Most verbs just add –ed for the past participle, but irregular verbs have a special form for the past participle.

If a specific time is stated, simple past is used – NOT present perfect.

  • saw that movie last night.
  • My family went to Vancouver on vacation last year.

Present Perfect 1

The present perfect is used to show that something happened (or never happened) before now, at an unspecified time in the past. The exact time it happened is not important.

  • They have moved into a new house.
  • Have you ever visited Vancouver?
  • I have already seen that movie.

Present Perfect 3

The present perfect is also used to discuss the repetition of an activity before now. The exact time of each repetition is not important.

  • We have had five tests so far this semester.
  • I have called my girlfriend ten times today.
  • I have taken the subway many times.

Present Perfect 2

The present perfect is often used with for or since when something began in the past and continues to the present.

In the examples, notice the difference between since and for.

    • since + a particular time
    • for + a duration of time
  • I have studied since nine o’clock.
  • We have been here for two months.
  • I have had this same pair of jeans for two years.
  • I have liked science fiction movies since I was a child.


{ I – You – We – They } have studied.

{ He – She – It } has studied.


{ I – You – We – They } have not studied.

{ He – She – It } has not studied.


Have { I – you – we – they } studied?

Has { he – she – it } studied?

Short Answers

Yes, { I – you – we – they } have. / Yes, { he – she – it } has.

No, { I – you – we – they } haven’t. / No, { he – she – it } hasn’t.