Present Perfect has the Form:
[has/have + past participle]
You have seen that program many times.
Have you seen that program many times?
You have not seen that program many times.
AN Unspecified time before this moment
We use the Present Perfect to say that
an action happened at an unspecified
time before this moment in time.
The exact time is NOT important.
You CANNOT USE present Perfect…
• With specific time expressions such as:
• Yesterday, one year ago, last week, when I
lived in England, at that moment, one day,
that day etc.
We USE Present perfect…
• With unspecific expressions such as:
• Recently, ever, never, already, just, yet, etc.
I have seen that movie twenty times.
I think I have met him once before.
There have been many volcanic eruptions in Sicily.
People have climbed Mount Everest.
People have not traveled to Jupiter.
Have you read the book yet?
How Do You Use the Present Perfect?
• The idea of an “Unspecified time" can be confusing. It is best to
associate Present Perfect with:
• Change over time
• An uncompleted action you are expecting
• Multiple Actions at Different Times
• Present Perfect is used to describe your experience. It
is like saying, "I have the experience of...”
• You can use this tense to say that you have never had
a certain experience.
• The Present Perfect is NOT used to describe a specific
An action in the past… that affects us now…
I have eaten some spicy food recently The food made me ill and I am taking a day
I have not seen the film ‘E.T’ for two years. I really want to watch it again!
I have lived in Opole since August 2011. It is a great place to live!
Examples of Present Perfect…
What do these sentences mean?
• I have been to Poland.This sentence means that you have
had the experience of being in Poland. It is not clear how
many times you have been there.
• I have been to Poland three times.Now it is clear how many
times you have been to Poland.
• I have never been to Poland.This sentence means that you
have not had the experience of going to Poland.
Change Over Time
• We often use the Present Perfect to talk about change that
has happened over a period of time.
• You have grown since the last I saw you.
• The government has become more interested in international
• English has become one of the most popular language courses at the
local university since Poland joined the European Union.
• My Polish has improved since I moved to Poland.
• We often use the Present Perfect to list the
accomplishments of individuals and humanity. You cannot
mention a specific time.
• Man has walked to the North Pole.
• Our son has learned how to solve Rubik’s cube.
• Teachers have taught many students.
An Uncompleted Action You Are Expecting
• We often use the Present Perfect to say that an action which we
expected has not happened. Using the Present Perfect suggests that we
are still waiting for it.
• Alexandra has not finished her homework yet.
• Piers hasn't mastered Polish, but he can talk.
• Katie still has not finished reading the book.
• The snow has not stopped.
Multiple Actions at Different Times
• We can use the Present Perfect to talk about several different actions
which occurred in the past at different times. Present Perfect suggests
the process is not complete and more actions are possible.
• The military has attacked that city five times.
• I have had five tests and four quizzes so far this year.
• We have had many problems while working on this project.
• He has talked to several doctors about his problem, but nobody knows
why he is sick.
Time Expressions with Present Perfect
• When we use the Present Perfect it means that something has
happened at some point in our lives before now.
• Sometimes, we want to limit the time we are ‘looking in’ for an
experience. We can do this with expressions such as:
• in the last week, in the last year, this week, this month, so far, up
to now, etc.
• Have you been to Hungary in the last year?
• I have seen that movie seven times in the last month.
• They have had four tests in the last week.
• She graduated from university less than two years
ago. She has worked for four different companies so
• My car has broken down five times this week.
• "Last year" and "in the last year" have very different meanings.
• "Last year" means the year before now, and it is considered a specific
time which requires. It is thus used with Simple Past.
• “In the last year” means from 365 days ago until now. It is NOT
considered a specific time and as such is used with Present Perfect.
• I went to Hungary last year. (Simple Past)
• I have been to Hungary in the last year. (Present Perfect)
Duration From the Past Until Now
• With non-continuous verbs, we use the Present Perfect to show that
something started in the past and has continued up until now.
Expressions such as “For six minutes” & “Since Sunday”, are used with
the Present Perfect.
• I have had a bad temper for two weeks.
• She has been in Romania for six months.
• Katie has loved ham since she was a little girl.
• The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs
• always, only, never, ever, still, just etc.
• You have only seen that film one time.
• Have you only seen that film one time?
• The thing doing the action is the subject of the sentence and the
thing receiving the action is the object. Most sentences are
• Subject + has/have + past participle form of the verb
• The thing receiving the action is the subject of the sentence and the
thing doing the action is optionally included near the end.
• You can use the passive form if you think that the thing receiving the
action is more important or should be emphasized.
• You can use the passive form if you do not know who is doing the action
or if you do not want to mention who is doing the action.
• Object of the active sentence + has/have + been + past
participle form of the verb + by + subject of the active
Active: I have written a book.
Passive: A book has been written by me.
Active: They have built a bungalow.
Passive: A bungalow has been built by them.
Active: He has broken my door.
Passive: My door has been broken by him.
Active: I have placed an order for a computer.
Passive: An order for a computer has been placed by me.
Active: She has done her homework.
Passive: Her homework has been done by her.