The present perfect is tricky because it’s notalways present, and it’s not always perfect :D Case 1: The present perfect starts in the pastand includes the present. In this case, thepresent perfect is similar to the present. Case 2: The present perfect starts and ends inthe past, but we don’t know when. In thiscase, the present perfect is similar to the simplepast.
In this case, we mention the duration. Duration is SINCE a point/moment in time or FOR a period of time. Since yesterday; since 9 a.m; since Monday; since last month; since 1995, since June 1st. Since can also begin an adverb clause of time, also known as a time clause. The verb inthe since-clause is in the simple past.Since I arrived here; since class began; since we first met.We can also say “ever since.”I have loved him EVER SINCE I MET HIM.EVER SINCE YOU GOT HERE, you have not stopped complaining! For a day; for 3 hours; for 2 days; for a month; for 18 years; for a while; for a long time;forever; for ages; for as long as I can remember.
1. I have worked at the LCC for 5 years.I have worked at the LCC since 2007.Am I still working at the LCC?Yes. The situation started in the past and continuesin the present.2. We have discussed grammar since lastWednesday.We have discussed grammar for 4 days.Are we still discussing grammar?Yes. The situation started in the past andcontinues in the present.
The event started and ended at some point in the past.The event could have happened multiple times. The event does not continue to the present. We don’t know when the event/shappened and its notimportant. Duration is not mentioned because there is noduration! We often use the adverbs EVER, ALREADY, and YET.These adverbs refer to unspecified times in the past.
Q: Have you ever been to Austin (in your life—time is unspecified)? A: Yes, I’ve been there twice before. Do I know when? No. And it doesn’t matter. IfI want to know when, then I’ll use simple past. Q: When did you go? A: I was there last month (a specific point intime).
Q: Have you tried sushi before (some timebefore now—time is unspecified)? A: Yes, I’ve eaten sushi many times. Do I know when? No. And it doesn’t matter. IfI want to know when, then I’ll use SIMPLEPAST. Q: Whendid you last eatsushi? A: Actually, I had sushi for dinner last night (aspecific point in time).
Sometimes there is no difference between thepresent perfect and the simple past, so we can useeither tense. Have you finished dinner yet? Did you finish dinner yet? Ender has already finished dinner (already). Ender already finished dinner (already). In both cases, the event (finishing dinner) ended atsome point in the past, but we don’t know when. Ifwe want to say when, then we have to use thesimple past. Did you finish dinner at 6 p.m.? NOT: Have you finished dinner at 6 p.m.?
1. PPP is like the present perfect, when thepresent perfect includes now. 2. PPP means the recent past. 3. PPP is used for an event that ended in therecent past and has a present result.
The event started in the past and continues to thepresent. We use the ppp to stress that the event isstill in progress. We want to say how long theevent has been happening so we mention theduration of time. Examples: 1. We have been studying grammar together for aweek (and we are still studying it now). 2. We’ve been discussing writing since lastMonday (and we’re still discussing it now).
3. They have been talkingfor the last hour.4. She has been workingat that company for threeyears.5. What haveyoubeen doingfor the last 30 minutes?6. James has been teaching at the university sinceJune.7. We have been waiting here for over two hours!8. Why has Nancy not been takingher medicine forthe last three days?
The event happened in the recent past; it is notnecessarily in progress now. We either use “recently” or “lately,” or wemean recently or lately. Unlike in case 1, there is no mention of howlong the event has been happening (duration).
Example 1: Olivia has been partying a lot lately.Is she partying right this minute?No. Compare this to: Olivia has been partying since 9 p.m. last night.Is she partying right this minute?Yes. Example 2: The cat has been eating a lot (lately). He’s so fat!Is he eating right this minute?No. Compare this to: The cat has been eating for 3 hours non-stop! Wow! He must be really hungry!Is he eating right this minute?Yes.
3. I have been feelingreally tired lately. I don’t knowwhy.4. Amy has been watching too much television lately.It’s affecting her sleep.5. Have you been exercisinglately? You look great!6. A: What’s wrong withNimsy?B: I think that she has been feelinga littledepressed.7.Jennyhas not been practicingher English.
I was gardening from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. I finishedgardening at 11 a.m. At 11:15, I walked intothe house and my hands were dirty. Diego sawme in the house at 11:20 and noticed my handswere dirty.Diego: "Why are your hands so dirty, Holly?”Holly: "Ive been gardening. Excuse me while I goand wash them." Was I still gardening when I saw Diego? No. The event had ended in the recent past.