The Present Perfect is used to denote a link between the present and the past. The time of the action is before now but not specified, and we are often more interested in the result than in the action itself.
We use the Present Perfect to talk about actions or events in the past that still have an effect on the present moment. These actions have started in the past but continue up to the present moment.
It is important to note that the completion of these actions actually puts a focus on the present or on the result of the action.
Consider the example:
- Tom is currently on holiday in Moscow. He has a list of things he wants to see and do while he’s there:
- See Red Square.✅
- Visit the Kremlin.✅
- Eat some Russian food.✅
- Buy some vodka.❌
- Go to the ballet.❌
- Learn some Russian!❌
Here, there is a connection between the past and the present. We can use the Present Perfect to talk about the things Tom has / hasn’t seen / done:
- He has seen Red Square.
- He has visited the Kremlin.
- He has eaten some Russian food.
- He hasn’t bought any vodka (yet).
- He hasn’t been to the ballet (yet).
- He hasn’t learned any Russian (yet).
Present Perfect structure
Let’s revise how Present Perfect is formed.
[subject] + have/has + Past Participle
- I have just came from school.
- They have just cooked dinner.
[subject] + haven’t/hasn’t + Past Participle
- I haven’t seen Susan yet.
- She hasn’t returned from her trip yet.
have/has + [subject] + Past Participle
- Have you met Judy yet?
- Has he arrived yet?
Present Perfect with ‘yet’
We often use ‘yet’ with negative and question forms of the Present Perfect. It means something like ‘until now’. It usually comes at the end of the sentence.
- Sue: Have you seen Red Square yet?
- Tom: Yes, I’ve just seen it. I was there this morning.
- Sue: What about the ballet? Have you been to the ballet yet?
- Tom: No, not yet. I’m going tonight.
We don’t use ‘yet’ with positive statements:
He has seen Red Square yet.)
Present Perfect with ‘just’
We can use ‘just’ to talk about something that happened a short time ago:
- He has just seen Red Square.
‘Just’ comes between the auxiliary verb and the main verb.
We can use ‘already’ to emphasize that the event or action is recent and happened before now:
- They’ve already finished their trip.
Here’s a video about using ‘yet’, ‘just’ and ‘already’ in Present Perfect:
More irregular past participles:
|take → taken|
|do → done|
|make → made|
|eat → eaten|
|see → seen|
|find → found|
|speak → spoken|
|come → come|
Find more irregular verbs here: