The Present Perfect


This article will show you how to build the Present Perfect Tense and how to use it. As you will see, an important part of the Present Perfect is the Past Participle, so I suggest you read also the "Past Participle" article.

How to Form the Present Perfect

The basic rule to form the present perfect is:

the conjugated form of "have" + past participle

Examples: He has cleaned the house.    We have eaten porridge.


In spoken English, the "have" part is often abbreviated.

Examples: He's cleaned the house.    We've eaten porridge.

How to Use the Present Perfect

The present perfect is not used when we know the exact time something happened (at three o'clock, last week, this morning).

These are the situations that use the present perfect.

1. When the result matters

Example: Peter has had five glasses of wine, so he can't drive.

2. When a situation is still in continuing

Example: The show still hasn't started.

3. When a completed action is having an impact on the present

Example: I have forgotten my homework.

4. When an action has been completed very recently

Example: I have just made us fresh coffee.

5. When something has never happened, always happened, happened only once, or happened several times


I have always tried my best.
I have never been to Africa.
I have had a broken bone once.
I have seen the Northern Lights three times.