Present Perfect Simple

When do we use the Present Perfect Simple?

The Present Perfect Simple is a combination of past and present. It is used for actions in the past that have something connection with the present. 

1. Result of an action in the past that is important to the present (It is not important when this action happened so we do not use a specific time in the past – e.g. yesterday – if we do then we must use the Past Simple.)

I have finished my homework.
(It is all completed now. It is not important when.)

Have you ever been to America?
(Has you been there or not in your life? it is not important when )

2. Recently completed actions with a connection to now

He has just run a marathon.
(It is over but he is all hot and out of breath. So there is a connection to a finished past action and now.)

I have just painted the room.
(the job is finished but it is news to the listener)

3. State beginning in the past and still continuing – mostly with since (point of time) or for (period of time)

We have lived in London since 2010.
(We still live there.)

4. together with lately, recently, yet

I have been to Berlin recently.
(no specific point of time)

He has not phoned me yet.
(He has not done it.)

5. Signal words

  • already
  • for
  • ever
  • just
  • lately
  • never
  • recently
  • since
  • so far
  • until now/till now
  • up to now
  • (not) yet

6. Form

have/has + past participle *

7. Examples

7.1. Affirmative sentences in the Present Perfect – regular verbs

Long formsContracted forms
I have finished my homework.Ive finished my homework.
You have finished your homework.Youve finished your homework.
He has finished his homework.Hes finished his homework.

7.2. Affirmative sentences in the Present Perfect – irregular verbs

Long formsContracted forms
I have done my homework.Ive done my homework.
You have done my homework.Youve done my homework.
He has done my homework.Hes done my homework.

7.3. Negative sentences in the Present Perfect – regular verbs

Long formsContracted forms
I have not finished my homework.Ive not finished my homework.
I haven’t finished my homework.
You have not finished your homework.Youve not finished your homework.
You haven’t finished your homework.
He has not finished his homework.Hes not finished his homework.
He hasn’t finished his homework.

7.4. Negative sentences in the Present Perfect – irregular verbs

Long formsContracted forms
I have not done my homework.Ive not done my homework.
I haven’t done my homework.
You have not done your homework.Youve not done your homework.
You haven’t done your homework.
He has not done his homework.Hes not done your homework.
He hasn’t done your homework.

* past participle:

  • regular verbs → infinitive + -ed
  • irregular verbs → 3rd column of the table of the irregular verbs