Finally, we came up to this question!
Why do we need Present Perfect tense and where do folks use it?
I will answer the second question: everywhere! So, the answer to the first question is: because folks use it very often.
- To make a sentence in Present Perfect, we take the verb “to have” in present indefinite and add past participle of the main verb.
What do we want to say when we use Present Perfect?
1) We want to show the current result of some action made in the past.
For example “I have done my homework.” What we mean: we have the result of our long activity with our homework. We finished it, and we have the result still present – filled in pages of copybook and so on.
If we do not want to emphasize, we say in Past Simple: “When I was young, I did all my homework at school.” We don’t have those copybooks anymore; we do not even remember when we got rid of them.
Another good example, “I have bought a car. Look there, through the window. Do you like it?” We have a car right now: we have bought it recently; we are excited.
“I bought a car yesterday.” We may continue using Past Simple again: “I bought a car, today I don’t have it. My car was stolen.” This is sad; we do not have the result (the car) up to the present moment.
2) We want to tell about something that happened or did not happen up to the present moment.
- “Have you ever spoken Japanese?”(We mean ever in your life) “No, I haven’t.”
- “Have you ever been to Madrid?” “No, never.”
- “I have seen him before.”
3) We talk about some actions that occur till now.
- “I have been to New York for 2 years now.” The speaker arrived there 2 years ago, and he/she is in New York now/yet/still.
- “He has been to Paris since December.”
- “They have been married since 1985.” They are still married.
4) Sometimes it is tough to remember the rules, so there are few prompts.
We use Past Simple with some limiting words: yesterday, in 2016, last month/week, last time, at 6 o’clock, in the afternoon, when? If we have any other limits: the thing that we talk about doesn’t exist, the poet who wrote those songs is dead.
- I like Kurt Vonnegut; he wrote a lot of short stories.
- Yesterday he found his sweater.
- In 2016, he became a writer.
- We met last month.
Find out homework for the lesson 8 here.