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Learn about the Present Perfect

 

Present Perfect = result now


present perfect pictureWe use the present perfect when something happened in the past, and has a result now - especially a result you can see.

I've broken my leg.

(present perfect: result now - my leg is still broken)

I broke my leg three years ago.

(past simple: the result is finished - my leg is better now).


Present Perfect Simple or Continuous?


Present Perfect Simple is used with short, single, finished actions, and when we say how many.

Present Perfect Continuous is used with longer, repeated or unfinished activities.


I've written 5 letters today.

(simple: finished, we say how many/much)

I've been writing letters all morning.

(continuous: repeated, emphasis on how long)

Oh no!!! What have you done?!!!

(simple: look at the result!!!)

What have you been doing recently?

(continuous: I'm interested in the activity)

Confused? Try the practice exercises to help you understand better.


To see how to make the present perfect simple and present perfect continuous, look at the pages for present perfect simple and present perfect continuous.


(The teacher has drunk two glasses of wine and feels a bit dizzy!)

Present perfect practice

Next lesson: past perfect simple

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