Present perfect simple
Present perfect simple tense examples:
I have cleaned my shoes.
He has gone to America.
I have travelled through Asia, but I haven’t been to Africa.
Uses of the present perfect simple:
1. To talk about something completed some time in the (recent) past that has an effect now
2. To talk about an experience we have had in our lives.
Present perfect simple form:
have / has + [3rd form of the verb / past participle]
Present perfect simple use #1:
We can use present perfect simple to talk about something completed in the past that has an effect now.
- I have cleaned my shoes.
This tells us that:
a) the speaker cleaned his/her shoes in the past
b) that there is a present effect of this – probably that they are now clean.
- I haven’t finished my homework!
NOTE: you cannot use present perfect simple with a specific time in the past – you have to use past simple.
e.g. I didn’t finish my homework last night. NOT
I haven’t finished my homework last night.
Present perfect simple use #2:
We can use present perfect simple to talk about an experience we have had in our lives.
“Have you ever visited New Zealand?”
“No, I haven’t” been there yet. I have been to Australia though!
“I have eaten tofu but I have never eaten crocodile meat”
American English does not use this form of the present perfect. In American English, the past simple is used instead.
“Have you ever visited New Zealand?” (British English)
“Did you ever visit New Zealand?” (American English)
‘Ever’, ‘never’, ‘yet’ with present perfect simple
Have you ever…..?
Used for questions about experience up to now.
- Have you ever taken an over night train?
- Has he ever met your wife?
Have you…… yet?
Used for questions and negative sentences about experience up to now.
- Have you seen that new film yet?
- I haven’t asked him yet.
Have you ever visited New York yet.
Used for negative sentences about experience up to now.
I have never climbed a mountain.
I have never spoken to her.
NOT: I have
never drunk champagne yet.