The Present Perfect Tense in English | Structuring Sentences
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The present perfect is formed, in the affirmative, as follows
Subject + have + past participle + object.
I + have + climbed + the mountain!
Example: have climbed the mountain!
The past participle is, often, the same as the past simple form of the verb (although not always so be sure to learn them!), except it has a different function here. The auxiliary verb is the one linked to the subject; the past participle simply denotes the action while the I have…, You have…, etc. denotes who had the experience.
Conjugating the Present Perfect (affirmative)
I have climbed the mountain
You have climbed the mountain
He/She has climbed the mountain
We have climbed the mountain
They have climbed the mountain
As is quite common in English, all these conjugations are the same except for one: the third person. One must be careful to remember this exception. Apart from this, the present perfect is quite simple; now you can go forth fully equipped to brag about your experiences in any conversation!
Forming the Present Perfect (negative)
The present perfect (negative) is formed as follows:
Subject + have + not + past participle + object.
We + have + not + eaten + Thai food.
We have not eaten Thai food.
Conjugating the Present Perfect (affirmative)
I have not eaten Thai food
You have not eaten Thai food
He/She has not eaten Thai food
We have not eaten Thai food
They have not eaten Thai food
It is important to keep in mind the order of the various parts of these phrases. Remember always that the negation (not) goes between the auxiliary verb and the past participle.
We can also employ a contraction here which will make conversation easier. In this case there are two contractions to be learned
have not ⇒ haven’t
has not ⇒ hasn’t
With our newly learned contractions, the conjugations become
I haven’t eaten Thai food
You haven’t eaten Thai food
He/She hasn’t eaten Thai food
We haven’t eaten Thai food
They haven’t eaten Thai food
Forming the Present Perfect (interrogative)
The present perfect (interrogative) is formed as follows
Have + subject + past participle + object?
Have + you + visited + South Carolina?
Have you visited South Carolina?
Conjugating the Present Perfect
Have I visited South Carolina ?
Have you visited South Carolina ?
Has he/she visited South Carolina ?
Have we visited South Carolina ?
Have they visited South Carolina ?
Again, we can add negation in order to affect emphasis. For example
Robert: Do you know much about Elvis Presley?
John: Haven’t I visited Memphis?
John answers Robert’s question with another question, which he believes should suffice as an answer. In this case, John means that he indeed knows much about Elvis Presley and has even visited his home in Memphis.
With the negation (and contraction), our interrogative conjugations become:
Haven’t I visited Memphis?
Haven’t you visited Memphis?
Hasn’t he/she visited Memphis?
Haven’t we visited Memphis?
Haven’t they visited Memphis?
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In this video, students learn two common uses of the present perfect tense. They also learn the difference between regular and irregular past participles. For more videos and lessons, visit us at https://esllibrary.com.
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Learn English Tenses: The Present Perfect
Welcome to this English grammar lesson about the present perfect tense. This is a very common English verb tense, and it can be a bit tricky for people who are learning English. It is one of the more advanced English verb tenses. It is helpful to know it when you want to talk about actions where time is not important, time is not specified, or the action is not finished.
Once you master the conjugation and usage, you’ll be able to use it in sentences like, \”I have studied English since I was a kid!\” You’ll notice in this sentence we’re talking about something that has no clear start or end. The time is not important so we use the present perfect tense.
I’ll start by helping you learn how to conjugate in the present perfect for written and spoken English. This verb conjugation is made up of the subject, the verb \”to have\” conjugated, and then the past participle of the verb. I’ll also make sure I help you learn how to use it in the negative, and how to form questions with the present perfect.
I hope you enjoy this English grammar lesson about the present perfect tense! I hope you’re having a great day!
0:51 How to Form the Present Perfect
1:30 Contracted Forms
1:55 Present Perfect Usage Situation 1
2:26 Present Perfect Usage Situation 2
2:53 Present Perfect Usage Situation 3
3:19 Present Perfect Usage Situation 4
3:56 Present Perfect Usage Situation 5
4:23 The Present Perfect Negative
4:47 Present Perfect Negative Contractions
5:08 Forming Present Perfect Questions
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