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Learn about the Present Perfect Simple

 

present perfect simplePresent Perfect = before


We use the present perfect when we want to talk about experiences - things which happened before now, but it isn't important exactly when.

I've never visited Egypt.

We often use it with expressions like ever, never, yet, already, before, How often?, three times, this week/month.


Present Perfect or Past Simple?

Look at these two examples:

I've only eaten sushi once.

I ate sushi with my sister last month.

The first is present perfect because we are thinking about experiences in your life until now.
The second is past simple because you aren't thinking about your whole life - you are thinking about one finished time.
You should never use present perfect when you say a finished past time (e.g. 'on Tuesday', 'in 2002').


We make the present perfect simple using have + past participle (the third form of the verb, e.g. done, gone, written ...).


  PositiveNegativeQuestion
I, you, we, theyYou've done it.You haven't done it.Have you done it?
He, she and itShe's done it.She hasn't done it.Has she done it?

Some good news: We never use the present perfect continuous with this meaning! So if you see "ever", "never", "already" etc. you know that you should only use the present perfect simple.


Extra information: Word order

We use "already" with positive sentences. We use "yet" with negative sentences and questions. Note the position in the examples below:

  • I've already had dinner.
  • I haven't had dinner yet.
  • Have you had dinner yet?

(The teacher hasn't visited many countries - she doesn't have much money. )


Present perfect practice

Next lesson: present perfect (2)

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