Present Perfect Tense

English Grammar Rules

The Present Perfect Tense is formed using the following structure:

Affirmative: Subject + Have / Has + Past Participle

Negative: Subject + Haven't / Hasn't + Past Participle

Question: Have / Has + Subject + Past Participle

Affirmative Sentences

Subject Have Past
Rest of the Sentence
I have studied for the exam.
You have bought a new computer.
He has eaten my chocolate.
She has written an e-mail.
It has been cold this month.
We have won the championship.
You have tried to learn a lot.
They have forgotten my birthday.


The contracted form of the perfect tense is quite common:

Have Contraction Examples
I have I've I've spent all my money.
You have You've You've worn that dress before.
He has He's He's slept all morning.
She has She's She's lost her purse.
It has It's It's fallen off the wall.
We have We've We've chosen you for the job.
You have You've You've begun to annoy me.
They have They've They've drunk too much.

We use contractions a lot when we are speaking.

Negative Sentences

The contraction of the perfect tense in negative form is:
Have not = Haven't
Has not = Hasn't

Subject Have Past
Rest of the Sentence
I haven't studied for the exam.
You haven't bought a new computer.
He hasn't eaten my chocolate.
She hasn't written an e-mail.
It hasn't been cold this month.
We haven't won the championship.
You haven't tried to learn a lot.
They haven't forgotten my birthday.


Have Subject Past
Rest of the Sentence
Have I been chosen for the team?
Have you bought a new car?
Has he eaten my sandwich?
Has she written the letter?
Has it started on time?
Have we won a trophy?
Have you kept my secret?
Have they driven there?

When do we use the Present Perfect Tense?

1. Unspecified point in the past

Compare with the simple past:

2. An action that occurred in the past, but has a result in the present (now)

3. Talking about general experiences (ever, never)

It usually refers to an event happening at some moment in your life.

4. Events that recently occurred (just)

5. Events that have occurred up to now (yet)

6. Events that occurred before you expected (already)

7. Events that began in the past and haven't changed (for, since)

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Check out our pages about Past Participles and the Pronunciation of ED.

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