Present Perfect: Negative & Questions

We use the Present Perfect to talk about actions or events in the past that still have an effect on the present moment. The focus is on the result.

Negative sentences

To talk about actions that haven’t happened in recent past, we use negative sentences in Present Perfect.

To make negative statements in the Present Perfect, we use:

have / has + not + Past Participle

I have not (haven’t) visited
You haven’t visited
He/she/it hasn’t visited
We haven’t visited
You haven’t visited
They haven’t visited

We often use ‘yet‘ in negative Present Perfect sentences.

  • Jim hasn’tphoned me yet. I’ve been waiting since morning.
  • I’m not ready to go. I haven’t had a shower yet.
  • They haven’t danced together for 2 years.

Questions in Present Perfect

We use Present Perfect tense to ask and answer questions about actions or events in the past that still have an effect on the present moment.

To make questions in the Present Perfect, we should use the following structure:

have / has + subject + Past Participle

  • Have you lived here all your life?
  • Have you met Ted?

Yes/No questions

To create a question that will be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, use ‘has‘ / ‘have‘ (or ‘hasn’t‘ / ‘haven’t‘ for a negative question) + Past Participle form of the verb.

Have I visited?
Have you visited?
Has he/she/it visited?
Has we visited?
Have you visited?
Have they visited?
  • Has she seen the latest James Bond movie?
  • It’s 11 o’clock already. Have you cleaned up your bedroom?
  • Have you been in France? No, I haven’t.
Note: In short positive answers to the Present Perfect questions we use only full forms of ‘have’/’has’. In short negative answers we can also use short forms.
  • Have you read this book?
  • Yes, I have (No, I haven’t).
  • Has he ever played golf?
  • Yes, he has (No, he hasn’t).

We often use the adverb ‘ever‘ when asking questions about events in people’s lives. In such questions we put ‘ever‘ before the past participle:

  • Have you ever been to Australia?
  • Has she ever tried your cooking?
  • Have they ever met each other?

We often use the adverb ‘yet‘ when asking questions about actions or events that could have just happened:

  • Have you seen Mary yet?
  • Have you eaten all apples yet?

Special questions

Special questions (also known as wh-questions) are questions that require more information in their answers. They are made using wh- words such as what, where, when, why, which, who, how, how many, how much.

To make a special question, use the same word order as with yes-no questions but put a wh-word before the verb ‘have’ or ‘has’. The structure is:

wh-word + have / has + [subject] + Past Participle

  • What famous people have you seen?
  • What languages has he studied?
  • How much money has she spent today?

Use ‘How long…?’ to ask for how much time a situation has continued:

  • How long has she lived in Rotterdam? – She has lived in Rotterdam for six years.

See also:

Present Perfect: Statements

Present Perfect for Unfinished Past

Present Perfect with ‘Just’ and ‘Yet’

Present Perfect for Experience

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