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English for Beginners: Lesson 8 – Thank you! That is perfect!

  • October 19, 2021
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Finally, we have come 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 it is used so often.

To make a sentence in the present perfect tense, we take the verb “to have” in the present indefinite and add the past participle of the main verb.

What do we want to say when we use present perfect tense?



We want to show the current result of some action made in the past. ( For example: )

“I have done my homework.” What we mean is that the job is done and finished – maybe there is even the evidence to show for it in a workbook! If we do not want to emphasize this, we would say it in the simple past tense: “I did my homework.”

Another example: “I have bought a car. Look there, through the window. Do you like it?” (We have a car and here it is!) We may also say “I bought a car yesterday,” but this doesn’t have quite the same impact.



We want to speak about something that has been happening up to the present moment.

“Have you ever spoken Japanese?”(Meaning ever in your life.)
“No, I haven’t.”
“Have you ever been to Madrid?” (Meaning ever in your life.)
“No, never.”
“I have seen him before.” (Sometime, somewhere in my life.)



We talk about some actions occurring right up till now.

“I have been in New York for two years now.” (The speaker arrived there two years ago, and he/she is in New York still.) “He has been in Paris since December.” “They have been married since 1985.” (They are still married.)



Sometimes it’s tough to remember the rules, so here are a few prompts.

We use the simple past tense with some limiting words: yesterday, in 2016, last month/week, last time, at 6 o’clock, in the afternoon…

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.

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